European Union regulators announced today that, effective immediately, cosmetics containing animal-tested ingredients can no longer be imported or sold in the European Union. The ban comes four years after a ban that prohibited ingredients testing on animals and nine years after a ban barring the testing of finished cosmetics on animals. EU commissioner Tonio Borg says the move allows Europe to set “an example of responsible innovation in cosmetics without any compromise on consumer safety.”
What’s the Big Idea?
While the ban sounds good on the surface, it creates a number of complications. Cosmetics industry experts say that it was enacted before they had time to create alternatives for certain complex tests that they claim require animals as subjects. In addition, the divergence in rules may result in a corresponding divergence in products sold internationally, with countries like China, which requires animal testing, getting a different version. Also, a loophole in the ban allows companies to use animal-testing ingredients for cosmetics if the tests were done for non-cosmetic products.