When I received this update from Humane Society International, I was completely shocked by what I was reading. If the EFfCI gets what they want, EU cosmetic companies can use the results from new animal testing in their ingredients. This is a big step back from the current EU ban on animal testing. I try to not share updates from organizations too often but felt that this one was too important to not post.
Campaigners Await High Court Decision on Industry Bid to Overturn EU Cosmetics Animal Testing Ban
(24 Nov. 2014) At the High Court today, animal protection group Humane Society International condemned an attempt by EFfCI, ingredient suppliers to the cosmetics industry, to undermine the EU’s historic cosmetics animal testing ban. The Court has deferred its judgment, expected in a few weeks.
HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign is the world’s leading initiative for a global end to animal testing for cosmetics, which was instrumental in securing implementation of the EU ban on sales of animal-tested cosmetics on 11 March 2013. The campaigners held a rabbit flash-mob outside the European Commission in Brussels to present nearly half a million petition signatures. #BeCrueltyFree is backed by stars such as Sir Paul McCartney, Leona Lewis and Melanie C.
The High Court action was brought by the European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients, a trade association representing more than 100 specialty chemical producers who supply ingredients to cosmetics manufacturers. EFfCI’s legal challenge is seeking to allow EU cosmetics companies to use results from new animal testing conducted in non-EU countries to meet non-EU regulations. HSI says this would undermine EU legislation banning the sale of ingredients tested on animals after 11 March 2013, and would mean that almost no animal testing would actually be prohibited.
Emily McIvor, Policy Director for HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign, said from the High Court: “The cosmetics industry’s legal challenge on the EU’s historic cosmetics animal testing ban, is self-serving and greedy. Consumers will be outraged that industry is trying to undermine this world-leading ban that says subjecting rabbits and other animals to painful and lethal testing for cosmetics is unacceptable, no matter where in the world it takes place. We urge the Court to reject industry’s case and uphold the EU ban on cosmetics cruelty.”
It is unknown whether EFfCI was acting alone, or whether its member chemical or cosmetics companies benefiting from the anonymity of their trade association membership are behind the legal challenge. EFfCI’s Associate Members include the UK’s BACS Personal Care Group representing around 120 members including Marks & Spencer and The Co-operative Group – both certified as cruelty-free by the international Leaping Bunny standard.
HSI’s Emily McIvor said: “As this legal action has been fronted by a trade association, it’s impossible to know which companies are really behind it. If cruelty-free company associate members were unaware that their trade association has been attempting to undermine the EU’s cosmetics animal testing ban, we would expect them to be very alarmed indeed.”
HSI estimates that between 100,000 – 200,000 rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and other animals suffer each year in cosmetics tests globally. These involve rabbits being restrained and having chemicals dripped in their eyes, guinea pigs having raw chemicals applied to their shaved skin, and rodents having chemicals pumped directly into their stomach in huge and even lethal doses. Such animal testing, and the sale of cosmetics so tested, is now outlawed throughout the 28 countries of the EU, EFTA States, Israel and India. #BeCrueltyFree campaigning has also resulted in legislative proposals for similar bans in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Taiwan and the United States.
- #BeCrueltyFree is the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing, supported by stars such as Leona Lewis, Rick Gervais and Melanie C
- More than 1 million #BeCrueltyFree pledges have been signed so far for a worldwide end to cosmetics cruelty
- There are more than 600 cosmetics companies certified as cruelty-free under the international Leaping Bunny scheme
- An estimated 8,000 or more cosmetic ingredients are already available and in widespread global use. Companies can manufacture cosmetics without animal testing by combining existing ingredients with histories of safe use — for which no new testing is required — with state-of-the-art non-animal tests
- An ever-growing number of non-animal tests are available and accepted by regulatory authorities worldwide, including the human reconstructed skin models EpiDerm™ and EPISKIN™ for skin irritation, the Fluroescein Leakage test for eye irritation, and the 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake test for sunlight-induced phototoxicity.