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UK to start testing cosmetics on animals again


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Ministers have opened the door to expanding the use of animal testing to ingredients used in cosmetic products for the first time in 23 years, an animal welfare charity has said.

Cruelty Free International (CFI) said animal testing on ingredients exclusively used in cosmetics – which was banned in the UK in 1998 – could be required, after being told by the Home Office that the government had “reconsidered its policy.”

In a letter, the government said it was aligning itself with a decision made last year by the appeals board of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which said that some ingredients used only in cosmetics needed to be tested on animals to ensure they were safe.

The Home Office insisted that UK law on animal testing had not changed, but campaigners warned that accepting the ECHA’s ruling could lead to a much wider use of animal testing.

The ECHA ruled that German chemicals firm Symrise had to carry out animal tests on two ingredients used solely in cosmetics to satisfy chemicals regulations, overruling EU restrictions on animal testing of cosmetic ingredients. The ingredients are widely used across a range of cosmetics.

In a letter sent to CFI and seen by the Guardian, the Home Office said it aimed to “publicly clarify its position now with the formal publication of an updated policy and regulatory guidance”.

CFI has warned that by aligning itself with the ECHA decision, the UK would be “blowing a hole” in its leadership on animal testing.

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I am not sentimental about animals. As far as I am concerned, the best place for a rabbit is on a plate. But anyone who tortures the poor bastards by way of testing cosmetics, is a complete whoresmelt and should have a ferret stuck up his arse and encouraged to eat its way out.

  • Agree 8
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