Canada Officially Bans Testing Of Cosmetics On Animals

After years of advocacy and promises, Canada has finally banned the testing of cosmetic products on animals, a largely symbolic move from the government that brings the policy in line with dozens of other countries around the world.

The Canadian government officially banned the testing of cosmetics on animals by making an amendment to the Food and Drugs Act, which was then enacted into law with the passing of the Budget Implementation Act (Bill C-47).

“Today, Canada joins 43 other countries who have taken measures to ban cosmetic animal testing. Indeed our government has now passed legislation banning the testing of cosmetic products on animals,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said at a press conference celebrating the passing of the legislation that was held on Tuesday June 25 at the Lush Cosmetics’ manufacturing facility in Toronto, Ontario.

In addition to barring companies from testing their cosmetic products on animals in Canada, the updated regulations prevent new products that rely on animal testing data to establish product safety from being sold in this country. It also prohibits deceptive or misleading claims about animal testing.

“Rarely do we see policy changes where everyone is on board, where activists, industry, politicians and Canadians all agree. Today is one of those rare days and it is worth celebrating,” Duclos said, referencing a recent poll that found 90 per cent of Canadians were in favour of the measure.

“Today is a victory for all those people, campaign groups and cruelty free brands like Lush who have fought tirelessly to protect animals from these cruel practices” said Hilary Jones, Lush’s Global Ethics Director who spoke on behalf of the brand at Tuesday’s press conference. “The public can now confidently shop across Canada knowing that today’s amendment to C-47 provides a strong framework to ensure all cosmetics made and sold here, as well as those imported, cannot involve animal testing.”

ABOVE: The Health Minister’s Press Conference at Lush Manufacturing in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo courtesy of Lush Cosmetics)

43 other countries have bans on animal testing, including Australia, the U.K. and all European Union (EU) members. In fact, similar legislation in the EU was introduced almost two decades ago. When the EU introduced its ban in 2004, it invested millions of euros into research to develop alternatives to animal testing. A move that ultimately benefited cosmetic companies across the globe, including Canada.

The Canadian government’s passing of the legislation is largely a “symbolic” measure given that such testing hasn’t taken place in Canada for a number of years.

Minister Duclos also invited Humane Society International, Animal Alliance of Canada, Cosmetics Alliance of Canada, The Body Shop, and Cruelty Free International to speak in support of the ban on animal testing for cosmetics at the press conference at the Lush facility.

Darren Praznik, president of Cosmetics Alliance Canada, a trade industry association for cosmetics and personal care products, told reporters that this new legislative change would not affect any cosmetic brands currently operating in Canada.

“We haven’t been doing animal testing for years,” Praznik said. “I think it’s really symbolic, though, that we recognize it in law.”

Praznik also suggested that the law it is likely to have no impact on the makeup brands already in stores across the country whose safety was tested on animals in the past.

“The reality is, if an ingredient has been there 10, 20 years in use, the law requires that you be able to demonstrate safety,” he said. “You’ve got 10, 20 years of human-use safety data. So that really is your justification because they’ve been in the market and commerce.”

“You can’t go back to what was done 30 years ago but that’s the practical reality for the industry.”

Tags: Canada, LUSH Cosmetics, top story, topstory

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