European Ombudsman Launches Inquiry About Cosmetics Testing on Animals

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In response to a complaint submitted by PETA, the European Ombudsman – the official responsible for investigating complaints about EU institutions – has launched an investigation regarding the attempt by the European Commission and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to weaken the ban on testing cosmetics ingredients on animals despite having no authority to do so.

The EU Cosmetics Regulation bans tests on animals for cosmetics as well as the sale of cosmetics and ingredients that have been tested on animals anywhere else in the world. Yet a flawed interpretation of the law by these regulatory authorities means that animals continue to die in tests of cosmetics ingredients.

Using the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation – the world’s largest chemical testing programme – as an excuse, the European Commission and ECHA have decided they will allow tests on animals under certain circumstances for chemicals used in cosmetics.

This is a shameful move. It violates both the Cosmetics and REACH regulations and will cause animals to suffer in painful experiments in which chemicals are injected into them, forced down their throats or rubbed onto their shaved skin.

It’s also misleading to EU citizens and consumers. With the implementation of the testing ban, we should be able to be confident that the products we buy are cruelty-free and not tainted by new tests on animals.

With potentially thousands of animals’ lives at stake, we’re hopeful that the Ombudsman will take our view that the authorities have gone beyond their remit to interpret and apply the law. The purpose of the Cosmetics Regulation, which aims to ensure the safety of cosmetics products and ingredients using only humane, non-animal methods, must be maintained.

What You Can Do

Put pressure on European authorities to stand by the cosmetics testing ban by sending them a quick e-mail here.

And shop for products that are absolutely guaranteed to be cruelty-free by consulting PETA US’ list of companies that never test on animals.

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