Cosmetics tested on animals now banned in Europe

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I’m ready for the U.S. to ban testing cosmetics on animals, and it galls me that the European Union has beat us to the punch.

Jakey the guinea pig

Jakey is adoptable in Atlanta, GA, at Atlanta Metro Guinea Pig Rescue.

On March 12, announced, “Guinea pigs, rats, and rabbits can sleep safe and sound in Europe as of today (11 March) after the last deadline specified in the Cosmetics Regulation entered into force across the European Union, forbidding the industry from using animal testing.” But that’s not all.

According to Humane Society International (HSI), though “testing cosmetics on animals has been banned across the EU since 2009 … until [March 11], retailers still could sell cosmetics containing ingredients that had been animal-tested in other countries. With the sales ban, the EU becomes the world’s largest cruelty-free cosmetics market.” Wow!

According to a poll in the U.S. by The Humane Society for the United States (HSUS), “Most women – 70 percent – think animal testing of cosmetics should be illegal.” So why isn’t the cosmetic industry paying attention?

Because enough of us aren’t putting our cosmetics dollars where our mouths are, that’s why. We can make a difference by the choices we make when we buy cosmetics. Simply look at the labels and make sure what you buy says the product wasn’t tested on animals.

And lest you resist change because you are afraid of your own safety, there are other ways to ensure cosmetic safety without hurting animals. One is to use ingredients that have long since been tested. Another is to use more innovative technologies like lab-made human tissues upon which tests can be run.

It makes me happy that this was announced during Adopt-A-Rescued-Guinea-Pig Month, and at least in Europe, these lovable little creatures will no longer be at the mercy of human vanity.

The HSUS and HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free Week also coincides with the announcement, and the groups are hoping the U.S. will be the “next biggest cruelty-free market.”

For more about the European Union Sales ban, read this pdf from HSI.