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UK re-opens its doors for animal testing of cosmetic ingredients after 23 years

by Arun Shirishkar

As per the reports from the Animal Welfare Charity, for the first time in 23 years, the United Kingdom has opened its door for use of animal testing to ingredients used in cosmetic products.

The UK government has aligned itself with a decision made last year by the appeals board of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which mentions that some ingredients used only in cosmetics needed to be tested on animals to ensure they were safe. However, there is an apprehension that this ruling could lead to a much wider use of animal testing.

Cruelty Free International (CFI) has warned that by aligning itself with the ECHA decision, the UK would be “blowing a hole” in its leadership on animal testing.

In response, a government spokesperson said there had been no change in legislation and that the ban on using animals for the testing of finished cosmetic products remained in force.  And such testing can only be conducted where there are no non-animal alternatives.

As stated by Dr Katy Taylor in her statement, this decision blows a hole in the UK’s longstanding leadership of no animal testing for cosmetics and makes a mockery of the country’s quest to be at the cutting edge of research and innovation, relying once again on cruel and unjustifiable tests that date back over half a century.

According to Fentem, there are roughly 100 cosmetics-only ingredients that may be subject to animal testing under chemicals regulations. She said the move by the UK signalled a complete reversal of the leadership on no animal testing for cosmetics. That’s the signal to the consumer who’s looking at having logos on the pack around sustainability, no animal testing, vegan etc … essentially then it’s the house of cards, and everything around cruelty-free products just collapses.

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