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France challenges EU animal testing ban


France has allegedly launched a legal action aimed at blocking the EU ban on cosmetics testing on animals, reports CORDIS.

CORDIS states that, according to the UK's Guardian newspaper, France has lodged a case at the European Court of Justice demanding the ban be overturned on legal and technical grounds. The government is said to be arguing that the ban is too severe and incompatible with world trade rules, and that it will damage European business interests.

The EU directive was agreed after 13 years of negotiations, and will phase in an almost complete ban on the sale of animal-tested cosmetic products across the EU from 2009, and will make animal testing for such products illegal.

Animal rights campaigners have criticised the alleged move: "It has taken animal campaigners and the European Parliament a frustrating 13 year struggle to finally secure legislation to outlaw the suffering of lab animals to produce trivial products like lipstick and perfume," Wendy Higgins of the British union for the abolition of vivisection (BUAV) told the Guardian.

The report notes that it is believed that the ban will also face a challenge from the European federation for cosmetics ingredients, which represents 70 companies in Switzerland, Belgium, France, Germany and Italy.

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