New EU rule

New EU rule says cosmetics MUST be tested on animals despite the chemicals being used in hundreds of ‘cruelty free’ products supported by ambassadors such as Leona Lewis

New EU rule

Eurocrats insist chemicals used in many ‘cruelty-free’ cosmetics must be tested on animals, as protesters say it destroys EU-wide ban on animal experiments for cosmetics (file photo)

  • Eurocrats said chemicals in ‘cruelty-free’ cosmetics must be tested on animals
  • Protesters say it destroys the EU-wide ban on animal experiments for cosmetics
  • The two chemicals are used by High Street brands Dove, Body Shop and L’Oreal

Eurocrats have torpedoed the sale of ‘cruelty-free’ cosmetics by insisting that chemicals used in many popular High Street brands must be tested on animals.

Protesters say the decision by the European Chemicals Agency effectively destroys the EU-wide ban on animal experiments for cosmetics.

The two chemicals involved are used in hundreds of ‘cruelty-free’ products such as sunscreens, face moisturisers and lip balm, including products from Body Shop, Dove, L’Oreal and Estée Lauder.

Julia Baines, the science policy manager at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), said: ‘As a direct result of these rulings, more than 5,500 rats, rabbits and fish are required to be used in new tests.

‘Yet consumers and the European Parliament have consistently demanded the cosmetics ban on animal testing must not be compromised.’

Under the testing regime, hundreds of pregnant rabbits or rats will be fed the chemicals before being killed and, in some cases, their unborn offspring dissected. The results will be shared with chemical companies which supply the cosmetics industry.

Animal testing for cosmetics and their ingredients was prohibited in the UK in 1998. 

The ban became EU-wide in 2013 but the European Chemicals Agency, a branch of the EU, now claims that separate regulations on the use of chemicals means substances still must be tested, even if exclusively for cosmetic use, to assess any risks to workers on the production line.

The two chemicals involved in this case are the ultra-violet filters homosalate and 2-ethylhexyl salicylate, also known as octisalate. Both have already been approved by EU safety watchdogs for use in cosmetics and are widely used in hundreds of popular cosmetic products.

Consumer giant Unilever last night condemned the European Chemicals Agency’s decision and warned it may now be forced to reformulate some of its cosmetic products. 

Its safety chief Julia Fentem said: ‘We don’t agree that animal testing is necessary to protect workers and the environment, and strongly encourage the use of non-animal data.  

New EU rule

Brands such as The Body Shop have long campaigned against animal testing, recruiting celebrity ambassadors such as Leona Lewis (above) who share their concerns

‘We support calls for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics and a growing number of our brands, including Dove, are certified by Peta. If animal testing becomes a requirement for any existing ingredient used in our products, it will be necessary to reformulate.’

And brands such as The Body Shop have long campaigned against animal testing, recruiting celebrity ambassadors such as Leona Lewis who share their concerns. 

Last year, the company delivered a petition with 8.3 million signatures to the United Nations, calling for a global end to animal testing in cosmetics.

The European Chemicals Agency first issued its ruling, which required the German cosmetics manufacturer Symrise to conduct animal tests on the two chemicals, in March 2018.

The firm lodged an appeal saying the ruling breached the EU animal testing ban, but that has just been rejected. Andrew Fasey, a member of the board of appeal, conceded: ‘I don’t expect that everyone will agree entirely with these decisions.’

The regulations will apply in the UK during the Brexit transition period, which ends on December 31, after which the Government intends to put in place its own rules.



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