New of the upcoming EU ban on animal testing was met with celebration around the world. While the ban had been in the works for several years, it was finally confirmed in early February. Since that time, more details about exactly what the ban means having been coming to light. Initially, there was a lot of confusion about if it meant that all brands selling in the EU were going to be completely cruelty free. It makes sense to assume that this ban would mean brands who currently test on animals would need to stop, wouldn’t it?
The post Are Cosmetics in the EU Truly Cruelty Free?, points out that the law will be applied to products shipped out after March 11, 2013. So once the tested items sell out, they will be replaced by cruelty free options. However, a recent press release from cosmetics giant Shiseido, who currently tests on animals, sheds some light on more concerning details about loopholes in the EU testing ban.
In this press release, Shiseido announced that, due to the upcoming EU ban, they are going to eliminate most animal testing practices. However, the brand also stated that they are going to continue to sell their products in China. As any cruelty free consumer knows, all beauty products sold in China are required by law to be tested on animals.
According to the WWD article Shiseido Eliminates Most Animal Testing, this is what the brand had to say –
“The company said it will no longer engage in animal testing, except in exceptionally rare cases in which the safety of an ingredient has been called into question, a Shiseido spokesman said Friday. More significantly, Shiseido will continue to use animal testing for products destined for China, where it is legally mandated, the spokesman said.”
You can read more learn about about the brands changes by reading Japan cosmetics giant Shiseido ditches animal testing by AFP and Shiseido Eliminates Most Animal Testing from Women’s Wear Daily. There’s no indication in either article that continuing to test on animals to sell in China will make it an issue for the brand to remain in the EU market.
There are many brands who have changed their stance on animal testing just to enter the Chinese market. Most notably – MAC, Smashbox and Aveda. These brands were once vocal about being against animal testing and were all certified as cruelty free by PETA. In the past year, all having the same parent company, they all decided to enter the market in China and agreed to the animal testing required to do so.
So does this mean that the ban on animal testing in the European Union isn’t as strong as most seemed to originally believe? Unfortunately, it sounds as if that may be the case. If brands like MAC, Smashbox, Aveda, Benefit Cosmetics, and many more are no longer considered cruelty free simply because they have already agreed to the testing laws required in China, how does Shiseido still selling in China allow them to sell in the EU after March 11, 2013?
As always, this is an issue the Logical Harmony team will have an eye on. Expect more updates as the date the ban goes into effect gets closer.