Wednesday, February 25, 2015European Commission

Animal testing: debate between PETA and Europe

© CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

As from March 11, 2013, the Regulation that governs cosmetic products in Europe (no 1223/2009) introduced the principle of a total ban on testing cosmetics on animals, both for finished products and ingredients. On the other hand, the REACH Regulation, which aims in particular at reinforcing knowledge of chemical substances, sometimes requires they be tested on animals and, in some cases, even when they are used in cosmetics. The PETA organization, which campaigns for animal welfare in the United Kingdom, got concerned about it and launched a petition addressed to the European Commission, which has just responded.

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On its website, the PETA organization (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) calls its sympathizers not to ‘let animal testing for cosmetics sneak in through the back door'…

In the text of the petition it suggests people to sign, it is emphasized that 'The European Cosmetics Regulation is a vital step towards ending cruel and abhorrent cosmetics tests on animals. However, by insisting on testing chemicals used in cosmetics for which there is a possibility of workforce exposure during manufacturing processes, you are undermining the ethical and moral values enshrined in the Cosmetics Regulation. It is inexcusable in these times that animals can be forced to suffer and die for cosmetics ingredient tests.'
As a conclusion, the organization 'urge[s] the Commission to uphold the spirit of the Cosmetics Regulation'.

The issue arises from certain contradictions between two European texts – the Cosmetics Regulation, on the one hand, and the REACH Regulation on the other – and is not new. The question of how to respect the ban on tests laid down in the first, when the second one actually requires them was frequently raised before, in particular by the cosmetics industry.

Last October, the European Commission had already released …

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