In 2013, the European Union was the first area in the world to ban the animal use in the tests for cosmetics with the Directive 2003/15/CE.
This law, on hold since 2003, has been renewed on septembre 21st 2016 by the European Court of Justice.
India, Israel, Norway, New Zealand, Turkey and the State of São Paulo also banned the use of animals for the cosmetic tests after the Europe decision. South Korea and Australia recently adopted similar law proposals. New bills are also expected in Argentina, Russia, USA, Taiwan, and Canada, while Japan is still debating and no proposals have yet been made.
China and its regulation on cosmetic tests
In 2014, China abandoned tests on finished products on its ground, except on hair coloring, deodorants, sunscreens and straighteners treatments. Moreover, the Chinese government impose that every cosmetic imported in China is tested on animals. It means that a “cruelty free” European brand which markets its products in China, will see these tested on animals.
In November 2016, the Chinese government recognized the validity of an alternative methode to test cosmetics. Thereupon, foreign companies will be able to send the results collected with this method to market these products on the Chinese territory.
Consumers more and more committed
There is a real demand from consumers to see the animal testing disappear in the cosmetic field. A study conducted by the Nielsen company, specialized in consumers habits in the world, showed the importance of the mention “non tested on animals”. Indeed, on a 1000 persons sample, 57% of the participants attest that this mention is the number one selling argument and 43% of them are ready to spend more money for it.
The REACH regulation
However, this mention can be a misleading information. Indeed, some cosmetics are still involved on animal testing, notably via the REACH regulation that forces every chemical substance produced at more than one ton per year to be tested on animals. It aims a better control of the chemical substances made and used on the European market. To this end, it identifies every chemical substances used. In the case where a company wishes to use a non listed substance, a test is mandatory. If no alternative method exists for this test, le law allows the use of animals. This law outweighs on the law banning animal testing for cosmetics.
In the television show La Quotidienne broadcasted in April 2016 with the subject “Non tested on animals… what does it hides ?”, Anne-Marie Gabelica, agronome engineer with a degree in biochemistry, revisits the ambiguity of the European legislation and the mention “non tested on animals”.
How to choose your cosmetics non tested on animals ? EVI lists for you the various labels certifying the ban on testing and the shops that market these products in two dedicated articles.