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European Union Bans Cosmetic Testing on Animals

From Mother Nature Network’s Starre Vartan

The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments has something to celebrate this winter; after years (23 to be exact) of effort, the group has succeeded in banning the use of animals in cosmetics testing in all member countries of the European Union.

Animal-TestingAs of March 11, all personal care products, from high-end to drugstore brands, became subject to the rules, which means that final products cannot be tested on animals and nor can any of a given products’ ingredients.

For some time, the long-pushed for ban has been debated and put off, and according to the ECEAU, its final success was due to the work of Tonio Borg, the new European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy. “The former European Commissioner in charge of the EU’s cosmetics regulations had been considering recommendations to delay or weaken the ban, allowing the cosmetics industry to continue testing cosmetic products and ingredients on animals until they could find alternative methods,” details the ECEAU, but it went through, thanks to Borg’s urging.

Cosmetics will still be tested for safety by the companies that make them, using agreed-upon methods of non-animal testing. The group’s next goal is to end the use of animals in scientific experiments. (12 million animals a year are used in Europe for this purpose.)

Think animal testing is different today than what you may have heard about in the ’90s when this issue received a lot of attention? According to the Humane Society‘s excellent FAQ on animal testing in the United States:

“Although they are not required by law, several tests are commonly performed by exposing mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs and other animals to cosmetics ingredients. This can include:

  • • Skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of restrained rabbits without any pain relief
  • • Repeated force-feeding studies lasting weeks or months to look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards such as cancer or birth defects
  • • Widely condemned “lethal dose” tests, in which animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death.

“At the end of a test the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation. Pain relief is not provided. In the United States, a large percentage of the animals used in such testing (such as laboratory-bred rats and mice) are not counted in official statistics and receive no protection under the Animal Welfare Act.”

Do you think a ban on animal testing for cosmetics is possible and desirable in the United States?

Ocean Robbins is co-author of Voices of The Food Revolution, and serves as adjunct professor for Chapman University and CEO and co-host (with best-selling author John Robbins) of the 150,000+ member Food Revolution Network. He is also co-founder of Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!) and author of Choices For Our Future and of The Power of Partnership.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Thankfully, the EU has some decency. Hope our country gets out in the lead and does more against animal cruelty.

  2. Europe has always been so far ahead of us with their choices to being about a healthier lifestyle. It is quite embarrassing to live in the USA and to still have to fight "tooth and nail" to get things done. As an example, getting GMO food labeled. I applaud the EU for doing what they have done in the cosmetic industry and would hope that America would "follow in their footsteps."

    I am vegan now for over 22 years and will never have it any other way. G-d has steered me in this direction and I want to spread the message to as many as possible through the information I share with the public. I have a site with numerous articles, interviews, product reviews and my 42 day coconut water cleanse. I believe in only using what is of the highest purity, integrity and environmental consciousness.

    In relation to cosmetics and body care I have reviews and Q & A's on my site for many companies who are doing things right! You can look up specifically these companies: 100% Pure, Morningstar Minerals, Don't Bite Me Patch, Environne, Essential Oxygen, Lily Organics, Natures Tears Eye Mist. I will be adding more reviews shortly, so check back often and subscribe to my blog to receive the latest posts to your inbox.

    You can click on my name above and it will take you to my site. If you are interested in any of my services as a vegan chef and educator, please leave a comment on my blog. I am available to travel to any location to assist and guide you to a life that will be filled with joy, love, positive energy, health and vitality. Don't wait till it is almost too late because then it may not be able to help you.

    You can also check out my YouTube channel for recipe ideas and product reviews: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

    May G-d give us all the strength to have complete trust and faith in Him and to find the best we can do for ourselves and live a life that is whole and holy.

    Chef Mindy :-)

  3. Another great person/company I forgot when you check out my blog who sells all natural beauty care that is anti-aging, is Tonya Zavasta. She is a friend and mentor of mine. You can click on the picture of her when you go to my home page and it will take you directly to her site. I have also received some of her products on my blog – click on my name above and it will take you to my site

    Chef Mindy :-)

  4. Let's face it, we don't need most, if any of that cosmetic crap anyway. It's bad for the environment, bad for our health, and more importantly, bad for these poor animals who have to endure pain all for the sake of humans. I'm sick of it. good for Europe. Let's go North America. Catch up already.

  5. May the day come (soon) when we recognize that we are all one… that inflicting pain on any sentient being is not even a consideration. I salute Europe for their decision and pray that we in the US are very close behind. Still makes me shake my head sometimes in disbelief that this is even necessary…

  6. I will forever keep speaking up for the animals that are being abused in the USA. Any country that abuses animals has heard my voice. A great step towards humanity has occurred ! Keep fighting for their rights as living beings……never stop.

  7. This is HUGE and GREAT news. yes. Thank God! Keep the momentum going and agreed with the others. come on US of A. What will it take to get it done?

  8. Wonderful news and congratulations to the EU, may this spread rapidly around
    the world, I agree with Maureen, it is unbelievable that this is necessary, having
    been involved with the Animal movement for decades!

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