Score one for the lab rats!
In some rather groundbreaking legislation, it was announced recently that the European Union will officially ban the import and sale of any animal-tested cosmetic products.
The ban will take effect on March 11; this means that, “Anyone who wishes to sell new cosmetic products and ingredients in the EU must not test them on animals anywhere in the world. The ban affects all cosmetics including toiletries and beauty products from soap to toothpaste.”
There was some question as to whether the legislation would be postponed, but European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy Tonio Borg confirmed in a statement that it would be going forward. “I believe that the ban should enter into force in March 2013 as Parliament and Council have already decided. I am therefore not planning to propose a postponement or derogation to the ban,” he said.
The ban is the culmination of nearly 20 years of activism by cruelty-free retailer The Body Shop and non-profit organization Cruelty Free International. Both organizations are thrilled with the news, but agree that there is more work to be done.
According to Cruelty Free International Chief Executive Michelle Thew, “This is truly an historic event and the culmination of over 20 years of campaigning. Now we will apply our determination and vision on a global stage to ensure that the rest of the world follows this lead.”
Paul McGreevy, The Body Shop’s International Values Director, echoed Thew’s sentiments: “This great achievement in Europe is only the closure of one chapter. The future of beauty must be cruelty free.”
Per a press release, The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International are launching a range of special commemorative activities in the countdown to March 11th. The two organizations also launched an international campaign to end animal testing.
Thus far, 55 countries have signed the pledge supporting the end of animal testing in cosmetics. The pledge page lists the countries involved, as well as humane alternatives and ways to take action for animals.
Thumbs up to the EU for recognizing that human beauty shouldn’t stem from the suffering of other species. Here’s hoping the rest of the world quickly follows suit.