Cosmetics industry unites to demand UK upholds its cosmetics animal testing ban
Companies involved in the UK cosmetics industry have joined with animal protection NGO Cruelty Free International to issue a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel demanding that the UK upholds its cosmetics animal testing bans and urging her to rule out new cosmetics tests on animals.
Over 75 companies are speaking out after civil servants in the Home Office said they were aligning with a decision made by the appeal board of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to expand the use of animal testing to ingredients used exclusively in cosmetic products for the first time in 23 years in the UK.
In the letter, industry figures are urging the Government “to uphold its 1998 position as intended, with no new tests on animals allowed”, adding that the UK would be pursuing a “retrograde approach” whilst failing “to acknowledge the amazing advances in science and technology”.
The UK was the first country in the world to say no to animal testing for cosmetics and their ingredients when it put in place a policy ban in 1998. The EU animal testing and marketing bans that followed have since been used as the gold standard around the world – setting the precedent for cosmetics products and ingredients to be used safely without subjecting animals to cruel and unnecessary tests.
Kerry Postlewhite, Director of Public Affairs at Cruelty Free International said: “In 2021, we didn’t expect to be revisiting our campaigns of the 1980s against the use of animals to test cosmetics, especially in light of the Government’s commitment that Brexit would be better for animals. Yet here we are. We’re delighted to see the industry join us and the public in calling for the bans to be upheld fully, as intended.”
A spokesperson for The Body Shop, said: “We are saddened and angered that the UK Government is open to changing a policy that may result in cosmetics ingredients being tested on animals for the first time in 23 years. The Body Shop was the first global beauty brand to fight on this issue and we successfully campaigned to ban animal testing in cosmetics in the UK in 1998 and our commitment to end this unnecessary and cruel practice remains at the heart of our company to this day. We urge the Government to consider their position and do the right thing.”