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EU Court Rules: No Exceptions in Animal Testing Ban

In late September 2016, an EU court ruled that no exceptions will be granted for cosmetic products that have been tested on animals under legislation within other countries or other industries. The case was brought to court by the trade organisation the European Federation of Cosmetics Ingredients (EFCI) which represents over 100 cosmetics companies across Europe. The organisation sought an exception to the European Union’s current law, which bans the use of animals in cosmetics testing within the EU, as well as the sale of products tested on animals even if this occurred outside the EU. The EFCI hoped to exploit a loophole that allowed the sale of products tested on animals under legislative bodies outside the EU, and even within the EU in certain circumstances.

In the ruling, the court cited the ultimate goal of the existing law, which is to promote alternative testing methods that meet the necessary standards for cosmetic product safety, stating that goal “would be seriously compromised if the prohibitions…could be circumvented by carrying out the animal testing in third countries.”

Under this law, cosmetics companies are often required to perform the necessary safety testing under OECD guidelines using non-animal alternatives. Available in vitro tests include:

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