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One year anniversary of complete prohibition of animal testing for cosmetics in the EU

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Mar 12, 2014
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On 11 March 2013 the European Union put in place a ban on the marketing of the remaining cosmetic substances tested on animals

This was the final step in a 10 years process to totally ban animal testing. In 2003, the Directive 2003/15/EC introduced provisions in relation into animal testing into the Cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC. Accordingly, animal testing in the Union was prohibited since 2004 for cosmetic products and since 2009 for cosmetic ingredients ('testing ban'). As from March 2009, it is also prohibited to market in the Union cosmetic products containing ingredients which have been tested on animals ('marketing ban').


"…With this ban, the Union has taken global leadership to demonstrate that safe and innovative cosmetics are possible without new animal tests. I am very encouraged that other countries are now starting to follow."(Commissioner Neven Mimica)

The European Commission's involvement in activities targeted to the validation of alternative approaches to animal testing started in 1991, with the launch of ECVAM (the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods), hosted by the Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP). As from 2011, ECVAM's tasks are assigned to EURL ECVAM (the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing).

More information on the European Union's ban on animal testing

Image reproduced courtesy of Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection's web site.