Some of you might already have heard the good news – as of this Monday, animal testing in cosmetic products is banned in the European Union! This is of course great news for all of us who live within the EU. But what does the ban actually mean? And wasn’t there already a ban on animal testing? Let’s take a closer look at what this legislation really means.
The news of this ban has spread widely on social media and in traditional media all over the EU, but the fact is that there has actually been a ban on use of animal testing in cosmetic products in the EU since 2009. The problem with the old legislation was that even though it did include finished products as well as the ingredients in the products, there were several loopholes. One of the biggest loopholes was that the animal testing ban only was valid within the EU, meaning that a product could be tested somewhere outside of the EU and still be sold within. As of last Monday, this is no longer allowed – no products can be come out on the EU market if they or their ingredients have been tested on animals.
There is a downside to this legislation however, and that is that the ban only includes new products on the market. In some ways this is understandable, the damage is already done and the animal testings that have been done can not be undone. Still, it does mean that we cannot just walz in and buy any product thinking it’s completely cruelty-free.
There is also some uncertainty about whether the products can be tested by other authorities outside of the EU. Did you know, for instance, that China actually has a law that requires any product sold on the Chinese market to be tested on animals? Basically, this means that if a company sells the same product in the EU and in China, it will be tested on animals before it reaches the Chinese market.
One of the best things with this new legislation is that it in some way forces the cosmetic companies to come up with new, alternative methods of testing their products safely without using animals. Fingers crossed that this will lead to changes in the rest of the world?
So if you want to be 100 percent sure that your product has not been tested on animals,you still need to buy products that are certified cruelty-free. Look for the Leaping Bunny logo on the label, or check the list from PETA.
For more information about the EU ban, read the FAQ on the website for the Leaping Bunny certification.