The ban on animal testing for cosmetics within the European Union came into force in 1998, but products can still be sold if they have been tested on animals outside the EU, in countries such as China and Japan where animal testing remains a legal requirement.
New legislation will enforce a sales ban on products from outside the EU tested on animals from March 2013, but there are moves to delay or water down the regulations, say campaigners, slowing momentum towards a global ban on animal testing.
Troy Siedle is Humane Society International's director of research and toxicology: ‘Animal testing is the ugly secret of the beauty industry, and it's time for it to stop. Thousands of animals such as rabbits and mice continue to endure chemical poisoning tests just to produce new lipsticks and shampoos, and that's simply unacceptable in a modern society. So we are thrilled to be joining forces with Lush to campaign for an end to the suffering.'
Lush and Humane Society International say cosmetics can be easily made without animal testing using ingredients for which we already have safety data or by using advanced testing procedures such as 3D human skin models and computer modelling. They argue animals are subjected to considerable pain and distress during toxicity testing with the final results scientifically unreliable because humans and animals can experience differing reactions to the same chemicals.
‘The animals have waited over 20 years for this legislation to be fully enacted,' said Hilary Jones, Lush's Ethics Director, ‘Whilst the laws were not strong enough, companies like Lush have adopted voluntary codes of practice to cut animal testing from their business. But animals should not have to rely on voluntary codes of conduct, they should be protected by robust laws which force ALL companies to adopt humane methods to bring their products to market.'
New series Green business: Lush
Cosmetics company Lush is a zero-packaging pioneer on the high street. In the first of our new 'Green business' series, founder Mark Constantine discusses gourmet consumerism, dream factories and why his ethical creation is a work in progress
Why our testing of antibiotics and other drugs may not be safe
The current testing protocol for new medicines is proven to be inadaquate. It's time for a radical new approach, argues Kathy Archibald, director of the Safer Medicines Campaign
The Story of Stuff: Cosmetics
Annie Leonard is back with another installment of the Story of Stuff - this time taking an in-depth look at the cosmetics industry and how we are dying to be beautiful
The Smell of Freedom: Lush gets behind the Free West Papua campaign
West Papua is one of the world’s forgotten conflicts, where human rights violations are endemic. Now Lush has taken up the cause. Ruth Styles has more
How to make your own skincare products
DIY skincare can be as easy as grabbing some ingredients from the fridge or kitchen cupboard. Laura Sevier offers recipes and tips from the experts