Highest EU Court To Interpret Cosmetic Animal-Test Ban’s Scope
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
The European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients awaits a ruling from the European Court of Justice – expected in about two years – as to whether the ban in the EU necessarily prohibits the marketing of cosmetic ingredients tested on animals to meet regulatory requirements in third countries. Animal-welfare groups claim EFfCI’s aim is to “severely weaken” the ban and “herald a return to the dark days of animals suffering.”
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The EU's ban on animal-tested cosmetics and ingredients could be narrowly limited to tests performed to meet the European Cosmetics Regulation's data requirements – exempting testing undertaken to comply with third-country regulations or other EU laws – if the European Court of Justice sides with industry next year. Stakeholders expect the court's advocate general to render an opinion on the matter in March 2016.
The Humane Cosmetics Act would bar multinational industry leaders competing with cutting-edge cosmetic ingredients from testing the substances on animals anywhere in the world, a practice the European animal-testing ban perhaps has not stamped out as thoroughly as animal-rights groups envisioned.
The draft Humane Cosmetics Act differs in its wording from the European Cosmetics Regulation in a way that could address what animal-rights groups see as an unintended loophole in the EU's marketing ban – namely, its applicability to cosmetic animal testing under third-country regulations. The U.S. proposal ostensibly would bar products and ingredients from market if they've undergone cosmetic animal testing anywhere in the world, posing a potential dilemma for multinationals with business in China, for example.