ANIMAL TESTING IN COSMETICS: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE UNITED STATES (.pd file - 114.99 KB)
By Laura Donnellan
Animal welfare has become a recent issue in the policy of the European Union. Since the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957, the welfare of animals was only considered in relation to the proper functioning of the common market. Animals were seen as commodities whose interests were intertwined with agricultural and environmental policy. Over the years, the position has changed somewhat. Although a treaty basis exists for animal welfare, the protection of animals has not yet been recognized as an important policy area of its own, and thus worthy of legal protection. As a positive step in recognizing the unnecessary suffering of animals, the Cosmetics Directive will be the focus in the first part of this article. The amendments to the Cosmetics Directive to prohibit the testing of animals in cosmetics culminated in the case of France v. European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The European Court of Justice and the Advocate General held against France and upheld the seventh amendment of the Cosmetics Directive. Similar measures were adopted in California, which will be discussed in the second half the article. Chapter 476, now a California statute, has banned animal testing except where there are no validated alternatives available. Chapter 476 is not without its critics, owing to its omission of standing for animal welfare groups. This has been the subject of both academic and judicial debate, and the analysis suggests that it will prove difficult for such groups to establish standing. Nevertheless, California is the first state to introduce legislation that prohibits the testing of cosmetics on animals, and this has prompted others to follow suit, with New York in the process of introducing similar legislation.