You’ve probably heard by now that the European Union has banned animal testing for cosmetics. That’s right as of March 11, 2013, it is illegal to sell products that have been tested on animals or products that are formulated with ingredients that have been tested on animals.
The only real impact on the beauty companies is that they won’t be able to use any NEW raw materials that have been tested on animals. This law doesn’t retroactively ban ingredients (or products for that matter) that were animal tested years ago – those are grandfathered in and can still be sold. So while this could theoretically stifle innovation it’s not going to cause anyone’s existing businesses to grind to a halt.
Why no animal testing is good for you
It’s exciting to think of all the animals that will be spared the excruciating process of animal testing – no one likes to see animals suffer unnecessarily.
Why no animal testing is bad for you
While the EU law makes life safer for animals it makes it less safe for you (at least a little bit.) That’s because the law prohibits specific tests for “carcinogenicity, photoallergy, cutaneous allergy, toxicokinetics, reprotoxicity, teratogenesis, toxicity[—]sub chronic and chronic[—]and photomutagenesis. These are important tests because they’re needed to determine whether the products are safe for human use and there are no non-animal alternatives at this time.”
In other words, when this law is in effect companies will not be able to use the most accurate type of testing to ensure their new products are safe for you to use.
This won’t be an issue for most products but it will be for those innovations that require cutting edge chemistry. So, rather than market products that haven’t been proven safe, companies will probably chose not to market them. Which means you won’t be able to use the latest and greatest beauty breakthroughs.
Eventually, alternative tests will be developed so all in all the testing ban is probably a good thing but we wanted to make sure you’re aware of both sides of the story.
Image credit: http://farm4.staticflickr.com