New research by the organisations US operation, suggests that at least nine leading cosmetic companies may be quietly breaking UK and European law by selling products that are also marketed in China, where animal tests are required by law.
As such, PETA is demanding that the government investigates retailers for possible violations of 2013’s EU Cosmetics Products Enforcement Regulation, which bans the marketing of cosmetics products or ingredients that have been tested on animals.
A dossier of evidence and a request for investigation has been sent to Attorney General Jeremy Wright as well as Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove MP and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid MP.
PETA says that publicly available information from the Chinese Food and Drug Administration shows that cosmetics products, which are readily available on UK stores’ shelves, are also registered in China, a country where tests on animals for cosmetics are still compulsory.
“We have documentation that these companies are selling products by the same name both in China, where they have been tested on animals, and in the UK,” says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi.
“Fractions of the cosmetics industry are currently embroiled in a legal row with the UK government in an attempt to render the marketing ban of animal-tested cosmetics as meaningless. Once this case is resolved – if not before – PETA is calling on government officials to investigate and take action to ensure that the Cosmetics Regulation is not being blatantly flouted.”
At present the government has not made its ruling on the case, and the cosmetics companies involved have not issued public statements for or against the claims.
EU court case
In an unrelated case, Cruelty Free International, along with the European coalition of animal protection groups it leads, presented arguments at the Europe Union’s top court against industry’s attempts to water down the historic ban on cosmetics testing.
The personal care trade association Cosmetics Europe says that the new PETA research will not affect this case or its ruling, as all of the evidence has been heard ahead of a decision later this year.
This case was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Communities by the High Court in London, and was brought by the European Federation for Cosmetics Ingredients (EFCI), which represents most cosmetics ingredients manufacturers in Europe.
They argue that cosmetics companies can sell in the EU cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals - as long as the tests were nominally carried out under some legislation other than the EU Cosmetics Regulation. That includes testing in the European Union.
Animal rights organisations, however, believe this would make a nonsense of the bans, which took 20 years’ of hard-fought campaigning to achieve.