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Ban on animal testing: Cruelty Free Europe dissatisfied

According to Cruelty Free Europe, the European Commission is ignoring calls from French citizens to maintain the ban on animal testing for cosmetics.

The animal protection NGO points out that the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) "Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics - Commit to a Europe Without Animal Testing" has been signed by 248,070 people in France.1 - more than four times the national target - and by 1.2 million signatories across Europe. 

According to the organization, "the ban on animal testing for cosmetics, introduced in 2013, has been scandalously gutted, despite the Commission's commitment to a long-term plan to phase out animal testing for all chemicals as part of its formal response to the ECI."

Cruelty Free Europe recalls that an ingredient may be used exclusively in cosmetic products, such as make-up, shampoo, moisturizer, soap, perfume and toothpaste, or in other products.2Animal testing is always required to verify the safety of a chemical handled by industrial workers or likely to be released into the environment, in accordance with the European chemicals regulation Reach (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals).

And he adds: "Worryingly, the proposed updates to Reach indicate that animal testing for chemicals is set to increase dramatically over the next few years."

ICE, also backed by global beauty and personal care companies The Body Shop and Dove, was the seventh to pass the one million verified signatures threshold when it was confirmed in January that 1,217,916 people had called for an end to the outdated and unreliable use of animals in cosmetics and chemical testing.

In June 2020, a Savanta Comres3 showed that the ban on animal testing for cosmetic products is enjoying massive new support. It revealed that almost three quarters (74 %) of EU citizens believe that animal testing for cosmetics and ingredients is unacceptable under any circumstances. In the poll, 75 % of French people believe that animal testing for cosmetics and ingredients is unacceptable in all circumstances.

"While we welcome positive action to replace the use of animals in chemical experiments and testing, it's outrageous that the cosmetics testing ban we fought so hard for, and which European citizens voted for, is being gutted. The European Commission has ignored the demands of 1.2 million people and condemned more animals to unnecessary suffering in the name of beauty. European citizens have made it clear that animal testing has no place in modern society, whether for cosmetics or any other product, said Michelle Thew, Managing Director of Cruelty Free Europe. Consumers and the beauty industry want an end to animal testing for cosmetics, and it's time for the European Commission to listen to its citizens. We're asking consumers to contact their MEPs or local parliamentary representatives to make sure their voice is heard, and to let them know that animal testing for cosmetics must end.4. Together, we can put an end to suffering."

1. https://europa.eu/citizens-initiative/initiatives/details/2021/000006_en

2. The European Commission's official report on ECI states: "[f]or chemicals that are not exclusively used in cosmetics, animal testing is allowed... to meet the requirements of REACH... registrants of chemicals exclusively used in cosmetics may need to perform animal testing to meet the requirement for worker and environmental risk assessment under REACH.... it is not yet considered sufficient to carry out safety assessments for human health and the environment without any animal testing, due to the lack of accepted alternative methods".

3. Savanta ComRes, on behalf of Cruelty Free Europe, surveyed 5,653 adults over the age of 18 in twelve EU member states (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Denmark and Croatia) from June 9 to 19, 2020.

4. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/home

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