EU Court Says No to Animal-Tested Makeup

     (CN) — The European high court ruled Wednesday that cosmetics manufacturers can be barred from placing animal-tested products on the market, even if the products were originally intended for places that allow animal testing.
     Since 2009, EU law has prohibited the sale of products that contain ingredients tested on animals where the tests have been conducted to determine if the product is safe for human use.
     Three members of the European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients conducted animal testing outside the EU for products originally intended for the Chinese and Japanese markets. But the companies also wished to sell their products in the United Kingdom, prompting the trade group to ask a British court whether its members would face criminal penalties by placing the products on the market there.
     The trade group argued that letting its members put the animal-tested products on the British market wouldn’t violate EU law, since the testing satisfied the laws of third nations and was done outside the European Union. The British court asked the European Court of Justice to weigh in on whether that was an accurate reading of EU law.
     In its judgment Wednesday, the Luxembourg-based high court said unequivocally that access to the EU cosmetic market is conditioned upon not using animals to test the products. Furthermore, the court said the law makes no distinction as to where the animal testing occurs.
     “That regulation seeks actively to promote the use of non-animal alternative methods to ensure the safety of products in the cosmetics sector, in particular by phasing out animal testing in the cosmetics sector. In that regard, it should be noted that the attainment of that objective would be seriously compromised if it were possible to circumvent the prohibitions by carrying out the prohibited animal testing outside the European Union,” the court wrote in a 6-page ruling.
     The EU high court’s decision is binding on the British court, which will deliver final judgment in the case.

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