In January 2013, the European Union set a ban aimed at stopping animal testing on cosmetics. This will certainly impact the global personal care products industry, because it will forbid all EU countries to sell products, both within the EU and abroad, with ingredients that have been tested on animals.
The directive is part of a group of new regulations on cosmetics approved by the countries of the European Union, establishing that, by the summer of 2013, manufacturers will be required to provide more detailed information on the label as well as indicate the expiration date or maturity of the product with a new graphic symbol: a small hourglass. Labels must also indicate the possible presence of nano materials, i.e ingredients in quantities smaller than 100 microns.
This decision closed more than 20 years of campaigning and is being celebrated by lots of animal welfare organizations and individuals against animal cruelty, as well as companies in the industry that oppose to animal testing around the world. These animal rights advocates consider the ban like an historic event and an European achievement.
In 2012, Cruelty Free International was born. This was the first organization created to fight animal testing for personal care products worldwide. The result of its campaign in partnership with The Body Shop resulted in a global pledge for ending this practice signed by costumers of the store in 55 different countries.
With this new regulation, the European Parliament, representing the 27 member nations of the European Union, and a big portion of the beauty and cosmetics industry, put an end to animal welfare advocates‘ long struggle to pass this law. Opponents to animal cruelty began this process in 2003, when they fought to implement a ban on animal testing, which should have been enforced by 2009 if it hadn’t been for certain companies that lobbied to delay its implementation.
Animal cruelty is a felony in all 50 states of the United States. However, thanks to the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty against living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians are a federal felony, punishable by a fine, up to seven years in prison or both. Animal Cruelty State Laws Reach National Level
Because of it forbids EU countries from exporting products tested on animals, one of the impacts of this ban will be the subsequent elimination of animal tested products on other parts of the world where this kind of regulation does not exist. Those countries will be therefore forced to do the same in order to enter the European beauty market as well as compete in their domestic markets with non-animal tested products imported from Europe.
Some celebrations, coordinated by organizations that advocate for the respect of animals and their rights, have been scheduled in countries like Italy.
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