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Something to celebrate plus something to fight for.

Here at Lush we are overjoyed to be able to celebrate the final stage of the Cosmetics Directive finally coming into force on 11th March 2013. 

The Cosmetics Directive makes Europe the first zone in the world where animal testing of cosmetics is banned. Let’s hope the rest of the world is looking on and thinking of doing the same thing! 

The British public played a HUGE part in getting this legislation passed and enforced.  Continuous public pressure across Europe since the 1980s forced legislators to write these laws – and only public pressure has kept the legislation on track, as it suffered delay after delay. Our customers signed a petition to the European Commission only last summer, insisting that the legislation stayed on track, after there were threats to delay implementation another 10 years. So it really is cause for celebration that the Commission listened and are finally enacting the full legislation from 11th March.  Each and every person who has ever gone on a march, signed a petition or written to their MPs can feel proud that they have been part of bringing about this groundbreaking animal protection into place.

So now that we know that public pressure can work – let’s see if we can use that power again to help more animals.


The Cosmetics Directive only covers tests that are conducted specifically for cosmetics purposes.  But cosmetics ingredients are also subject to testing under the new REACH chemical legislation – and animals are going to be used in huge numbers to conduct this safety testing. So animals are still at risk and still need our help.

The REACH legislation was written in 2007 – and because the EU knew that the public felt strongly about animal testing, they wrote the laws to say that animals could only be used where no non-animal alternative was available. The REACH rules tell a company exactly which tests they need to do for each ingredient – it lists the non-animal alternatives that must be used and then the animal tests that must be used if there is no alternative. Companies must follow these guidelines.

REACH legislation said that the rules would be updated regularly to add any new non-animal alternatives as they are developed. It was hoped that eventually this would mean that no animal tests were ever needed, as new animal tests are developed over time.

But here’s the problem!  REACH has not been updated since it was written in 2007.  Since then many non-animal alternatives have been developed and also some animal test refinements (these are improved protocols which mean that for each test less animals need to be used and killed). By not adding these to the REACH testing guidelines, REACH are breaking their own stated rules – and many animals (perhaps even millions) are dying in tests because companies cannot use the non-animal alternatives until the legislation lists them as suitable for use.

So this week we are joining with Humane Society International to launch a petition, so that the public have a chance to tell the REACH administration that this is not good enough and we are all watching and waiting for them to update the animal testing protocols to include the last few years of advances. They need to know that the public still feel strongly about animals dying in tests that they do not need to be used for!  Please sign the petition at your local Lush shop and add your voice to the calls for a better deal for animals.

So let’s all take the time to party and celebrate the power of the people in bringing change for those who cannot speak up for themselves.  But then let’s all get angry again that everything is not being done to protect animals from unnecessary tests – and let’s do something about it!