EU Cosmetics Testing Ban Begins, Will the US Ever Follow?

Today, March 11, marks the culmination of 23 years of campaigning to end the suffering for animals who were used in tests for cosmetics sold in the European Union because people who cared refused to give up. Starting today, anyone selling cosmetic products in the EU will not be allowed to test finished products or their ingredients on animals anywhere in the world, whether or not an alternative to animal testing is available.

Israel followed suit with an announcement that as of January 1, it would no longer allow the import and marketing of cosmetics, toiletries or detergents that were tested on animals, which was followed by the Drug Controller General of India calling for the fast-track deletion of two final animal tests from the country’s cosmetics safety standard last month.

But until the United States and other countries do the same, thousands of animals will continue to suffer and die for the sake of human vanity. According to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), 80 percent of the world still uses animals for cosmetic testing. China officially mandates animal testing for cosmetics and the U.S. remains a major market that allows it.

Because the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) does not require that all laboratory animal use in the U.S. be reported (it exempts mice, rats, and birds), we may never know exactly how many animals died because of a new product, but numbers are estimated to be in the millions.

Even though animal testing is not required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Product Safety Commission in the U.S., and despite the fact that alternatives to animal testing exist, many companies continue with the practice. In fact, the FDA leaves it up to companies to substantiate the safety of their own products and recalls are left entirely up to manufacturers. Here it doesn’t seem as if either animals or consumers are entirely safe.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “89 percent of all ingredients in cosmetics have not been evaluated for safety by any publicly accountable institution.”

The EWG. maintains a database of almost 80,000 products ranked by their level of hazard and according to the group, the cosmetics industry has reportedly assessed less than one-fifth of them. Last year, the FDA found 400 lipsticks on the market that tested positive for lead, but the industry continues to lobby against any measures that would stop it from self-regulating.

We’re torturing animals and getting exposed to thousands of questionable chemicals anyway.

Hopefully, the EU ban will spur further action by other countries, including the U.S., to get a cruelty-free makeover and give up animal testing for cosmetics entirely. If the EU, India and Israel can do it, there’s no reason other countries can’t develop and accept alternatives to animal testing.

Help End the Suffering by Spending Compassionately

We can have an impact on this industry with the way we spend our money, but thanks to the fact that there is no official cruelty-free labeling scheme, product labels can often be misleading.

Products that are labeled “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals” might seem like good choices, but that isn’t always the case, since “cruelty-free” isn’t technically, or legally, defined. Products that are simply labeled as “not tested on animals” or “cruelty-free” may have been tested by other companies, in other countries, at the ingredient level or at certain stages of development making it confusing and frustrating for those of us who are trying to make compassionate choices and support ethical companies.

The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), which established an international certification program that requires companies and their ingredient suppliers to pledge not to test on animals at any stage of development and stay open to independent audits, manages the Leaping Bunny program in the U.S. and Canada and offers us the closest assurance we’ll get that products and their ingredients were not tested on animals. These products are easily identifiable by the signature leaping bunny logo.

To find cosmetics, personal care and household products that are really cruelty-free and available internationally, visit

Thanks to the over 18,000 Care2 members who signed this petition against animal testing in Europe.


Related Stories:

Finally! Eu Set to Ban Animal Testing for Cosmetics

Ending Animal Testing for Cosmetics: Will India Be Next?

Israel Bans Animal Testing: Why Can’t We Do the Same?


Photo credit: Thinkstock


David O.
Past Member 4 years ago

Awesome work! That is quite appreciated. I hope you’ll get more success. vitiligo products

Mark Botermuc
Mark p.muc5 years ago

About this testings i'am so p.... off to all companies who do this tests ... total idiotic .... ty sharing this ...

Alfonso Lopez
Alfonso Lopez5 years ago


Konstantin Trubin


jackie r.
Jackie R5 years ago

Approximately one third of people like animals, one third dislikes them and the remaining third could not give a hoot either way. The battle will never stop - and the one third of us need to rally our troops and speak for all animals - just like care2 and PETA. Furthermore, no good fruit ever comes from bad seed - justifying animal torture in the interests of "it's for the children..." is a load of horsepoo. The excuse is given that it is for this or that disease, cure, blah de blah but really, it is greed and cruelty clothed in sterile clothes.

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L5 years ago

Part of US government don't care for people - why would they care for animals??? American politicians have a lot to learn from other countries. It's an unfortunate that many of them only want to be a leader when it comes to wars.

Frances Darcy
Frances Darcy5 years ago

About time.

Vasu M.
.5 years ago

Professor Henry Bigelow observed: "There will come a time when the world will look back to modern vivisection (animal experimentation) in the name of science as they do now to burning at the stake in the name of religion."

John Stuart Mill observed, "The reason for legal intervention in favor of children apply not less strongly to the case of those unfortunate slaves — the animals."

In his 1987 book, Christianity and the Rights of Animals, Reverend Andrew Linzey, an Anglican priest, notes that "In some ways, Christian thinking is already oriented in this direction. What is it that so appalls us about cruelty to children or oppression of the vulnerable, but that these things are betrayals of relationships of special care and special trust? Likewise... in the case of animals who are mostly defenseless before us."

Vasu M.
.5 years ago

B.R. Boyd writes in The New Abolitionists (1987):

"Seventy to one hundred million, including lost and abandoned pets, are quite literally injected, infected, mutilated, driven insane, strapped immobile for years on end, blinded, concussed, burned, mechanically raped, dismembered, disemboweled, mutilated, and otherwise violated--often without adequate anesthesia--in order to test shampoos, oven cleaners, make-up, and scientific hypotheses; to advance medical science or personal careers; to develop and test nuclear, biological, chemical, and conventional weapons; or for general scientific curiosity, and because public funding is available...

"Seventeen million wild fur-bearing animals (and twice as many "trash" animals) are mangles in steel jaw traps and 17 million more factory farmed, then gassed or electrocuted, that we may wear furs.

"170 million animals are hunted down and shot to death in their habitats, mostly for sport, often leaving their offspring to die of exposure or starvation...

"Ten billion animals are killed in America every year; 95 percent of them are killed for food. We force-breed, cage, brand, castrate, and over-milk them, cut off their beaks, horns, and tails, pump them full of antibiotics and growth stimulants, steal their eggs, and kill and eat them."

Vasu M.
.5 years ago

Adolf Hitler thought Albert Einstein's scientific discoveries were mere "Jewish science" and thus not applicable to gentiles. This is the mentality of meat-eating Christians toward vegetarianism, which they regard as a sectarian dietary restriction (like keeping kosher) rather than as a universal ethic for all mankind (neither harming nor killing animals)... like abstaining from cannibalism.

They react as if we were talking about circumcision, rather than the animals' right to life, even though issues like animal experimentation, circuses, fur, etc. have nothing to do with diet, eating or food, but do involve the animals' right to life. (Ironically, some liberals see abortion as sectarian.)

Leonardo Da Vinci, Tolstoy, Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony, George Bernard Shaw, Percy Shelley, were all vegetarian, and none of them were Jewish!