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March 11, 2009

Europe Leaps Ahead with Cosmetic Testing Deadline

The Humane Society of the United States

PHILADELPHIA — The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, the animal protection organizations who administer the Leaping Bunny Program in the United States, Canada and Europe, join together to celebrate the end of animal testing for cosmetics in the European Union.   

As of today, the EU has banned all animal tests for cosmetic ingredients, formulations and final products. In addition, the sale of cosmetics and ingredients that have been tested on animals, regardless of where the testing occurred, is also prohibited, with the exception of three test areas (repeated-dose toxicity, reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics). The final three test areas will be banned in March 2013.

"This is an historic occasion and a significant step forward for animals in laboratories," said Michelle Thew, chief executive of the ECEAE. "We are delighted that this ban has finally come into force. We will now continue our global campaign to seek an end to the appalling suffering inflicted on animals in the name of beauty worldwide."  

The EU cosmetic testing law will have an enormous impact on the cosmetics industry both in the EU and abroad as the law sets specific deadlines not just for the production, but also for the sale of products that have been tested on animals or contain animal-tested ingredients. In today's global economy, companies based in the U.S. and Canada depend on profits from their European markets. This dependence will inevitably require these companies to more aggressively pursue non-animal alternatives for product testing.

"We are thrilled that Europe has taken a stand against cosmetic testing on animals," said CCIC Chair Tracie Letterman. "We hope lawmakers in the United States and Canada will pass similar measures and put an end to this unnecessary cruelty."

Companies certified through the Leaping Bunny Program in the U.S., Canada and Europe make a voluntary pledge to eliminate animal testing from all stages of product development. The company's ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100 percent free of new animal testing.

The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics is made up of the following organizations: American Anti-Vivisection Society; American Humane Association; Beauty Without Cruelty, USA; Doris Day Animal League; The Humane Society of the United States; and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. CCIC's international partners are Animal Alliance of Canada and European Coalition to End Animal Experiments. On the web at LeapingBunny.org.

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