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EU Bans Cosmetics Tested on Animals

The European Union has banned the import and sale of new cosmetics with ingredients tested on animals.

Since 2004, EU regulators have generally banned animal testing of finished cosmetic products, but on Monday closed remaining loopholes in the testing, effective immediately. The EU commissioner for health and consumer policy, Tonio Borg, said the total ban would give "an important signal" about the extent to which Europe values the welfare of animals.

Animal rights groups applauded the restriction. But Cosmetics Europe, a trade group for the $93 billion industry on the continent, said the change would stop innovation of new products. Cosmetic companies have used rabbits, mice and guinea pigs in the testing.

European cosmetics customers may not notice any immediate change in stores, because products that had already been tested on animals can remain on shelves.

There currently is no such ban on animal testing on cosmetics sold in the U.S. or Asian markets.

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