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Mon Dec 22 12:36:57 SAST 2014

EU bans animal testing for cosmetics

AFP Relaxnews | 01 February, 2013 08:33
The late Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, was a leading campaigner for cruelty-free beauty.

After decades of lobbying from animal rights groups, the European Union is set to ban sale of animal tested cosmetics from March 11 this year.

The European Union will ban the import and sale of animal-tested cosmetic products (including ingredients) for member states from March 11; from this date onwards anyone selling new cosmetic products and ingredients in the EU will not be allowed to test them on animals anywhere in the world.

This isn't just for high-end products: all toiletries and beauty products, from skin cream to toothpaste, will be affected. The ban has been planned since 2009, but some activists feared a delay to the decision.

EU Commissioner Tonio Borg wrote an open letter to animal testing campaigners informing them that the ban is due to go ahead as proposed, and stating that he was "not planning to propose a postponement or derogation to the ban."

Earlier this year, Israel also passed a ban on animal testing.

Chief Executive of charity Cruelty Free International Michelle Thew said: "This is truly an historic event and the culmination of over 20 years of campaigning. Now we will apply our determination and vision on a global stage to ensure that the rest of the world follows this lead."

One of the world's largest markets, China still demands animal testing as a safety precaution. According to PETA, Chinese companies are required by law to pay for testing before some cosmetics can be marketed to the public. The animal rights group has recently been working in Beijing, training scientists to test cosmetics with alternative in-vitro methods.

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