Monday, 10 January 2011

EU Animal Testing ban final phase delayed until 2017

My heart sank when I read this article, posted on Twitter today by the ever-knowledgeable Beauty Brains.

It seems that buying cruelty-free cosmetics isn't going to get any easier in the near future, thanks to delays on EU legislation.

As I posted previously, an EU-wide ban on selling products containing ingredients tested on animals was planned for 2013. Although testing cosmetic ingredients on animals within the EU was banned in 2004, products containing ingredients tested on animals in other countries are still on the shelves. They will remain on sale, in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, until the final phase of the ban comes into play.

It seemed we had just a couple of short years to wait until conscientious makeup addicts could buy whatever products they liked without checking up on their animal testing status.

However, that final phase has now been postponed for a further five years, on the grounds that alternative methods haven't been developing fast enough to provide adequate cruelty-free testing in time for 2013.

So much for all those press statements from the big cosmetic companies about "funding research into alternatives". Reach into your pockets a bit deeper next time!

The Guardian article also mentions "REACH", an initiative to re-test numerous ingredients used in household products, including cosmetics. Some REACH tests are animal-based, meaning that previously "not tested" ingredients present in cruelty-free products can no longer be classed as such.

Although the way is by no means clear for ethical consumers (definitions of "cruelty-free" are varied, and companies are frequently very reluctant to admit to animal testing practices), there is an up-to-date consumer guide available from BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) here.


  1. How disappointing. I cannot believe we are still doing this in 2011 - medecine I can slightly understand although I'm not happy about it but for cosmetics? Pretty sick. Thanks for making me aware.

  2. I genuinely almost cried when I read that article. I'm extremely anti animal-testing, and I've boycotted brands who use ingredient that have been tested such ever since I learnt about it. I was so looking forward to the final phase of the ban... =<

  3. So any product that us made in the UK is not tested on animals now ? What about Garnier if its made in the UK does that mean it hasnt been tested on animals ?


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