On the occasion of the ninth anniversary of EU legislation banning the sale of all cosmetics tested on animals, animal protection NGOs Cruelty Free Europe, Eurogroup for Animals and GAIA will not be celebrating this date. . Chemicals rules seem poised to gut bans.
The organizations held a vigil for animal testing bans in cosmetics near the headquarters of the European Commission and Council in Brussels yesterday. They were joined by French street artist Ckeja , who painted live throughout the vigil.
Despite huge public support for the bans , cruel animal testing is now required by European authorities, including on ingredients used only in cosmetics. Proposals to extend the scope of chemical safety legislation under the Chemicals for Sustainability Strategy are expected to massively increase the amount of regulatory animal testing carried out in Europe, including testing for cosmetic ingredients, namely makeup, shampoo, moisturizer, soap, perfume and toothpaste.
A 2021 study by the European Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing found that 63 chemical safety assessment dossiers in the EU chemicals database used results from new tests on animals for cosmetic risk assessment, with this number set to increase as the European Chemicals Agency conducts more reviews. These are tests that have taken place since the bans came into force .
Kerry Postlewhite, director of public affairs at Cruelty Free Europe, said: “European leaders often trumpet how brilliant EU bans on animal testing in cosmetics are – and how they have been revolutionary and a model for the world. However, we know that more and more animal testing is required by regulators for cosmetic ingredients, against the will of European consumers and cosmetic brands. But we can all stand up and say we want our bans reinstated and we want them strengthened by signing the European Citizens' Initiative Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics at savecrueltyfree.eu . We have the power! »
Reineke Hameleers, CEO of the Eurogroup for Animals, added: “Non-animal approaches to ensuring the safety of cosmetics and other consumer products have been widely used in the EU for decades. There is no reason to test ingredients on animals when advanced non-animal testing strategies are available and offer reliable alternatives to animal testing. With this ECI, we call on the European Commission to commit to actions that can ensure the protection of human health and the environment by managing chemicals without using animals, and to invest in non-animal approaches. and human-based for regulatory decision-making.
Ann De Greef, CEO of GAIA, concluded: “The 2013 EU trade ban on animal-tested cosmetics is in jeopardy. It would be such a shame if the clock was turned back. »
 74% of adults in EU Member States agree that animal testing for cosmetic products and their ingredients is unacceptable under all circumstances, Savanta ComRes survey for Cruelty Free Europe , July 2020.
 In addition to the 2013 ban on the sale of all cosmetics tested on animals, the EU had already banned testing of cosmetics on animals in 2004 and testing of cosmetic ingredients on animals in 2009 - Prohibition of animal testing .
The video and photos of the Brussels event on Thursday 10 March are available here . Interviews are also available upon request.
The Eurogroup for Animals represents over eighty animal welfare organizations in almost all EU Member States, the UK, Switzerland, Serbia, Norway and Australia. Since its founding in 1980, the organization has been successful in encouraging the EU to adopt higher legal standards for animal protection. The Eurogroup for Animals reflects public opinion through its members and has both the scientific and technical expertise needed to provide authoritative advice on animal welfare issues. The Eurogroup for Animals is a founding member of the World Federation of Animals which unites the animal welfare movement globally.
Cruelty Free Europe is a Brussels-based network of animal welfare groups working to end animal testing across Europe. With 19 associate members, we act as a force for animals in laboratories in the EU and the wider European neighbourhood. Together with elected members of the European Parliament, governments, regulators, civil servants and supporters, our experts are coordinating efforts to secure change for animals currently suffering in experiments across Europe. We believe there is no rational moral justification for using animals in experiments. Instead, we stand for progressive, humane scientific research and cruelty-free living.
GAIA (Action Group in the Interest of Animals) unites animal welfare defenders and animal rights defenders in Belgium. We believe that animals should be treated with respect and deserve a decent life. We work to build a human-animal relationship of humanity and justice.
Image credits - Dani Oshi)