EU animal testing cosmetics ban concerns needs high-level policy dialogue says Cosmetics Europe

Last week, Dove and The Body Shop unveiled a European Citizens’ Initiative​ in partnership with Humane Society International (HSI); People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA); Cruelty Free Europe; Eurogroup for Animals; and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE). The Initiative, entitled ‘Save cruelty free cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without animal testing’​ called on the European Commission to protect and strengthen the cosmetics animal testing ban; transform the EU chemicals regulation; and modernise science in the EU.

Executives from Dove and The Body Shop said this big-brand collaboration brought important scale and size to the push to protect the EU animal testing ban for cosmetics​ and Chris Davis, global director of sustainability, activism and corporate communications at Unilever, said the brands were looking forward to “other brands joining”. “…The potential impact of this issue is huge, and it needs huge response,” ​Davis said.

‘There are issues that need to be discussed, debated and solutions found’

John Chave, director-general of trade association Cosmetics Europe, said its members welcomed the campaign as it spotlighted important issues and started a public debate.

“Everybody in our industry is supportive of the [animal testing] ban. Everybody totally supports the need to both continue developing alternatives and get them adopted and recognised by authorities,”​ Chave told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

And whilst concerns raised around the interface between the Cosmetics Regulation and REACH regarding animal testing were not new, he said it was “back on the agenda”​ for two key reasons. Firstly, the ongoing legal action in connection with ECHA’s ruling on required animal testing data, led by Symrise, had created more industry engagement. And secondly, the European Green Deal had given rise to a “widely held view”​ that increased levels of animal testing may be required under the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, notably for environmental endpoints, he said.

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