Animals have been used for several years to ensure cosmetic products are safe for human use until now. The European Union has enforced a ban on selling cosmetics that have been experimented on animals to test the safety of our toiletries. This ban includes toiletries such as toothpaste and mouthwash in addition to beauty products. Animals will no longer be used to test makeup or skincare products in the EU.
Several MEPs and animal protection groups such as Humane Society International (HSL) have taken action against animal testing for years and can now celebrate the introduction of a new ban on the sale of cosmetics that have been continuously tested on animals in the EU.
“Animal testing in the name of beauty has never been acceptable,” said RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant.
Animal rights campaigners say tests such as, rubbing chemicals into the skins of rabbits and mice are cruel. However, individuals who argue for animal testing agree that it’s unfortunate that animals must sometimes suffer, but they feel that the pain is a small price to pay if it advances science and produces new cures for deadly diseases such as cancer and AIDS.But what will be an alternative to animal testing? There has definitely been a lack of awareness about alternatives to animal testing.
Cosmetics Europe, a trade body representing Europe’s cosmetics companies said it would damage the industry.
‘The ban ignores the reality that science is not yet ready to bridge existing knowledge gaps and that non-animal alternatives cannot address all ingredient safety questions,’ said Cosmetics Europe chief executive Bertil Heerink.
Although there are alternatives to animal testing such as, synthetic skin, computer modelling and statistical analysis these are not as reliable.
‘It really is better to use artificial human skin – it’s more accurate,’ said Sue Leary, chairwoman of theCoalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC).
In response, supporters of the ban insist that just as synthetic skin will never perfectly mirror the qualities of human skin, neither will animal skin because of the reactions.
Written by Elizabeth Boyes
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