Laws on Product Testing

Public outrage about the use of animals to test cosmetic, personal care, and household products has led to the creation of laws to reduce or eliminate the practice. In 2000, California became the first state to pass a law limiting the use of animals in product testing. Specifically, it makes it unlawful for a manufacturer or contract testing facility to use animals when an appropriate non-animal alternative test method has been validated for use by the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM). Read California's law (Section 1834.9). New Jersey and New York became the second and third states to pass such legislation in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Other states have considered similar legislation on the topic including Arizona. Click here for more information on product testing laws in the United States.

While the United States has been slow to mandate the use of non-animal alternatives in the product testing industry, countries abroad have seen much more progress on this issue. The United Kingdom stopped licensing animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients in 1998. A small number of other European countries such as Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany have passed cosmetic testing bans. In 2007, Israel passed a law banning the use of animals for testing cosmetic and cleaning products.

In 2004, the European Union (EU) passed the Seventh Amendment of the Cosmetics Directive that sets a series of deadlines for animal testing bans and bans on the sale of cosmetics containing animal tested ingredients. Most of these deadlines are tied to the availability of non-animal testing methods. This legislation 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 an effort to protect human health and the environment, the EU also passed legislation in 2006 that will require the safety testing of nearly 30,000 chemicals. This legislation, Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), requires the generation of safety data for all chemical substances produced or imported into the EU in certain amounts. Because of the concerns raised by animal advocates, REACH was amended prior to final passage both to promote the use of currently available non-animal alternative test methods and to encourage the development of new alternatives.

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