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Testing cosmetics on animals: MEPs call for worldwide ban

 

  • 80% of countries still allow cosmetics to be tested on animals
  • EU ban has not jeopardised the growth of the cosmetics industry
  • MEPs call for UN convention

The EU should launch a diplomatic drive for a worldwide ban on testing cosmetics on animals before 2023, Parliament urged on Thursday.

Within the EU itself, the sale of all animal-tested cosmetics has been banned since 2013.

MEPs point out that this has not prevented the EU cosmetics industry from thriving and providing around two million jobs. However, around 80% of countries worldwide still allow animal-testing and the marketing of cosmetics tested on animals. MEPs also note that there are loopholes in the EU system, as some cosmetics are tested on animals outside the EU before being re-tested in the EU using alternative methods and placed on the EU market.

They also note that most ingredients in cosmetic products are also used in many other products, such as pharmaceuticals, detergents or foods, and may therefore have been tested on animals under different laws. 

The lack of reliable data on cosmetics tested on animals and then imported into the EU also remains a serious issue, they say. The EU should also make sure that no product placed on its market has been tested on animals in a non-EU country, they add.

To work towards a global ban on both animal testing for cosmetics and on the trade in cosmetic ingredients tested on animals, MEPs call on EU leaders to use their diplomatic networks to build a coalition and to launch an international convention within the UN framework. The ban should be in place before 2023, they say.

They also want to make sure that the EU ban is not weakened, whether in trade negotiations or by World Trade Organisation rules.

The non-binding resolution was adopted with 620 votes to 14 and 18 abstentions.

Background

According to the Special Eurobarometer survey No 442 of March 2016, 89% of EU citizens agree that the EU should do more to promote a greater awareness of the importance of animal welfare internationally. 90% of EU citizens agree that it is important to establish high animal welfare standards that are recognised across the world.

Copyright European Union