A few weeks ago EFfCI, a trade association that represents more than 100 specialty chemical producers who supply ingredients to cosmetics manufacturers, put forward the review; which calls for EU cosmetics companies to use results from new cosmetic tests on animals conducted in non-EU countries, in order to meet non-EU regulations.
Mr Justice Lewis has now given judgment in the High Court allowing EFfCI to take its claim to the ECJ, with a decision expected to take a considerable amount of time.
With the animal testing ban on marketing products in the EU coming into play last year, this new decision has not been well received by groups which campaigned so long for its introduction, such as the BUAV, European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), and Humane Society International.
If the case were to be successful at the ECJ, it could effectively allow a company to test its cosmetics ingredients on animals outside the EU for non-EU regulatory purposes, and still use and sell that ingredient in cosmetics within the EU market, according to these groups.
“The industry’s legal action could be a potential disaster for animal welfare and is a betrayal of the clearly expressed desire by EU consumers to end cruel and needless animal testing for cosmetics no matter where in the world that animal testing is taking place,” says Susie Wilks, HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree Policy Advisor.
“EFfCI’s case would undermine both the spirit and the letter of the EU ban, effectively allowing companies to continue testing cosmetics on animals abroad, and importing them back into the EU.”
The BUAV says that Mr Justice Lewis accepted that it and the ECEAE should be allowed to bring their special expertise to the case, after EFfCI had strongly opposed their intervention.
It is unknown whether EFfCI was acting alone, or whether its member chemical or cosmetics companies benefiting from the anonymity of their trade association membership are behind the legal challenge.