Could A Worldwide Ban On Cosmetic Animal Testing Be In Sight?

White rabbit in scientific lab experiment. Photo Credit:

(ANIMAL TESTING) Thanks to the European Parliament, a global ban on animal testing is on the horizon. Voted by a vast majority of 620 MEPs, the EU is advocating for a resolution to adopt a worldwide ban on animal testing for cosmetics products by 2023.

This decision follows the fifth anniversary of the EU’s historic ban on the sale of new products and ingredients tested on animals outside the EU, which has since inspired similar legislation around the world, including South Korea, Brazil, India, and New Zealand. But there are still no laws banning animal testing for cosmetics in an estimated 80 percent of the world.

Until there is a worldwide ban, make sure you are a conscious consumer and scan products for “Cruelty-Free” and “Not Tested on Animals” labels. When in doubt, you can always check our list of companies that don’t test on animals.

Read on to learn more about this significant step to end the cruel practice. — Global Animal

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Chemical Watch, Clelia Oziel

The European Parliament has voted by a vast majority to adopt a resolution calling for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics products before 2023.

At a plenary session in Brussels today, 620 members of parliament (MEPs) supported the move, 14 voted against and 18 abstained.

Drafted by eight MEPs in October, the resolution calls on the European Commission, Council and member states to:

  • advocate a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics in meetings with institutions from other countries, regions and at the international level – in particular with the UN secretary-general;
  • use their diplomatic networks to build a coalition in support of achieving a global ban;
  • draft an international convention against the testing of animals for cosmetics within the UN framework and, in particular, to call for the global ban to be included as an item on the agenda of the next meeting of the UN General Assembly; and
  • make sure he EU ban is not weakened by any ongoing trade negotiations or by WTO rules.

Thursday’s vote followed an Environment Committee meeting in February when members overwhelmingly approved the draft resolution, with 63 votes in favour and one abstention.

The marketing of cosmetics that have been tested on animals has been has banned in the EU since 2013. The resolution says that the “landmark” ban has shown that phasing out animal testing for cosmetics is possible and the EU sector has “thrived”.

Miriam Dalli, a Maltese MEP and co-author of the resolution, said the initiative sent a “strong signal that animal testing for cosmetics in other countries can no longer be justified”.

Humane alternatives to animal cosmetic testing already exist. Photo Credit: China Photos/Getty Images
Photo Credit: China Photos/Getty Images

‘Significant step’

Campaigners Cruelty Free International, an NGO, and UK retailer The Body Shop described the MEPs’ vote as a “significant step” in the campaign to end the practice.

“Five years after the full EU bans, the time is right to go one step further,” said Michelle Thew, chief executive of Cruelty Free International. “Now it’s time to work together to deliver a global end to cosmetics animal testing and eliminate animal suffering around the world.”

And Jessie Macneil-Brown, head of global campaigns at The Body Shop said the EU vote “will take us a big step closer to an international agreement”.

The two organisations launched a joint campaign last year to spearhead a call for an international ban on cosmetic animal testing. Their petition has so far received 5.7 million signatures.

As well as adopting the ‘marketing ban’ in 2013, the EU has prohibited animal testing for finished cosmetic products since 2004. And from 2009, it has also been illegal to market any cosmetic products that contain animal-tested ingredients.

Other countries, such as Guatemala, Iceland, India, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey, have since put in place bans. In addition, South Korea and Australia have made “significant progress” towards such a ban, the resolution says. However, the push for a global ban was proposed because around 80% of the world’s countries still allow animal testing and the marketing of cosmetics tested on animals.

MEPs also note the lack of reliable data on cosmetics tested on animals and then imported into the EU remains “a serious issue”.

Most ingredients in cosmetics are also used in many other products, such as pharmaceuticals, detergents or foods, and may therefore have been tested on animals under different laws, they say.

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