Cosmetics Tests on Animals Sneak Back Into the European Union

Published by .
3 min read

Tests on animals for cosmetics ingredients and sales of animal-tested products are banned across the European Union (EU). Yet animals are still being poisoned and killed in tests for cosmetics ingredients there.

White rabbit surrounded by makeup on pink background

Are Animal Tests Banned in the European Union?

Back in 2013, people all over world celebrated when a ban on animal testing for cosmetics came into full force in the EU. Europe had led the way in banning animal tests for cosmetics products and their ingredients—a ban based on the fundamental principle that no new cosmetics are worth the harm caused to animals in these deadly tests. The message was clear: No animal deserves to suffer and be killed for the sake of lipstick or toothpaste, and the EU was taking a stand against animal testing.

But under the guise of chemical-testing legislation called the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, authorities are now demanding that some cosmetics ingredients be tested on animals under certain circumstances. At least 150 chemicals registered under REACH are ingredients used exclusively in cosmetics, and many of these are subject to new animal testing requests by the European Chemicals Agency.

These tests completely undermine the purpose of the ban—to bring safe cosmetics to market without requiring new tests on animals. It is inexcusable that animals will still be forced to suffer and die in cruel and excruciating tests for cosmetics ingredients in the EU.

PETA Is Working to Prevent Animals From Being Poisoned and Killed in Cosmetics Tests

PETA has been campaigning against this issue since it first arose and will keep doing so until animal tests for cosmetics are history. We recently joined forces with other animal protection groups to urge the president of the European Commission to suspend all requests for cosmetics ingredients tests on animals and to allow companies to demonstrate the safety of ingredients using only non-animal methods.

Companies always have the option to choose different ingredients or even decide not to develop products if it means sparing animals’ lives. We’ve let cosmetics companies know that if they test on animals for any reason or buy ingredients from companies that test on animals, they will no longer be eligible for inclusion on PETA’s list of companies that don’t test on animals. To comply with the strict standards of our program, cosmetics companies must find an alternative source for ingredients or reformulate a product to eliminate any ingredients tested on animals under the REACH program.

What You Can Do to Help

To ensure that the products you’re buying are truly animal test–free, it’s more important than ever to use PETA’s Global Beauty Without Bunnies database when you shop for cosmetics and personal care products. PETA is dedicated to ensuring that the companies and brands found on our list of companies that don’t test on animals are truly animal–test free—all the way down the supply chain. Our program does not allow for any loopholes or exceptions for regulatory testing on animals.

Find companies that do and that don’t test on animals:
Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.