The European Citizens' Initiative " Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics - Commit to a Europe without animal testing ", concluded on August 31, 2022, collected almost 1.5 million signatures in just one year . This is one of the most popular European petitions that has gained so much support. On July 25, 2023, in response to the initiative, the European Commission proposed a "comprehensive review of the EU legislative and policy framework on the use of animals for research purposes" , as well as additional actions to reduce cruel experiments on innocent creatures.
The aim of the European Citizens' Initiative is to strengthen and protect the ban on testing cosmetics on animals (the ban has been in force in Europe since 2009; in 2013, cosmetics tested on animals cannot be sold in Europe), amending the EU regulation on chemicals and limiting tests on animals in research, education and training .
The ban on animal testing of cosmetics is not entirely satisfactory
The European Commission adopted the initiative , emphasizing that the EU plays an important role in improving animal welfare. Why, since there is a ban on testing cosmetics on animals in Europe and introducing tested cosmetics to the European market, was a citizen's petition prepared?
Because the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) requires extensive documentation on the safety of a chemical substance placed on the market (at least one tonne per year), which must be registered, supported by appropriate tests . In short, this means that tests on animals may be performed to determine the safety of a given substance towards humans and the environment . This also applies to measures that function as safe.
The European Commission, at its meeting on July 25, 2023, admitted that it will "work with all relevant parties on a roadmap towards animal testing-free chemical safety assessments ". Does this mean a complete end to the cruel use of any chemicals on animals?
Let us add that the ban on testing cosmetics on animals applies only to production and sale in Europe. It does not extend to exports, for example to China, which often require animal testing (e.g. sunscreens or hair dyes).