Shiseido drops animal-tested cosmetics as EU finalises sweeping ban

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Shiseido drops animal-tested cosmetics as EU finalises sweeping ban

Related tags Animal testing European union

The Japanese personal care giant has announced it is mostly dropping animal-tested cosmetics in the wake of the European Union setting to finalise a sweeping ban on the sale of such products this month.

Shiseido, which dropped animal testing at its own labs in 2011, sells to the European market, which is getting set to fully implement a complete ban on the importing and sale of animal-tested cosmetic products next week.

According to a company spokeman; "Our business partners that supply material to us will not rely on animal testing, while we will no longer outsource such testing to outside labs."

From April, the policy, only recently adopted at a company board meeting, will apply to all of the Tokyo-based cosmetic giant's production sites, including those run by suppliers.

However, Shiseido says there are exceptions to the policy that mean it will still allow animal testing where the only way of proving the safety of products already being sold in the market, and in some countries where animal testing is legally required.

In saying that, the company still says it will ensure the safety of its products through others means, including using data from past experiments, human volunteers and other kinds of testing.

D-Day almost here for animal testing ban

Since 2009, using animals to test cosmetic ingredients in the European Union has been banned. In addition, a marketing ban has been introduced, which prohibts the sale of products containing ingredients tested on animals elsewhere.

However, this marketing ban was introduced in a staggered fashion, depending on what the test was designed to find out, with some falling under a 2009 deadline and some a 2013 limit. And, this is where complications have arisen.

Some of these tests have proved more complicated than others to replace with non-animal alternatives, and last summer the European Commission published a document highlighting that replacements for many of the tests set for a 2013 ban were not yet available.

On the matter, Cruelty Free International has recently ramped up its efforts to ensure the ban is upheld. In a recent interview with Cosmetics Design, a spokesperson said the animal rights organisation expects the 11th March ban to go through without any delays, as previously feared, or exemptions, and is just awaiting the final confirmation, which is expected.

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