Making up

Consumer demand drives legislation to stop animal testing for cosmetics in Mexico.

After years of campaigning by activists, Mexico passed a federal law on 2 September which bans testing cosmetics on animals. The law also bans the manufacture, import and marketing of cosmetics tested on animals elsewhere in the world.

The new regulation offers a two-year transition period to find alternatives for product testing, which is considered the main challenge that the new law brings. Manufacturers and importers will also need to indicate on the product’s packaging that no animal testing was performed. Sanctions for failure to comply with the new law includes the imposition of fines and even prison sentence. 

An advisor to the Health Commission in the Mexican Senate commented, “There was a lot of demand from civil society and the public to protect animals. There are also many more entrepreneurs and businesses now able to offer products free from animal testing. With very few credible arguments against the initiative, there was a broad political consensus. This legislation brings Mexico up to the best international practices and makes it only the second country in Latin America to do so.”

“This legislation brings Mexico up to the best international practices and makes it only the second country in Latin America to do so, I’m certain others in the region will follow.”

Advisor to the Health Commission in the Mexican Senate

Multinational companies operating in the beauty industry in Mexico such as Unilever, L’Oréal, P&G and Avon, among others, welcomed the approval of the law as they are working on similar initiatives through the Animal Free Safety Assessment towards global policy alignment. 

“Consumers are demanding access to organic products, of natural origin, that respect the environment and animals. We expected it and are ready for the change.”

Cosmetics executive, Mexico

Consumer support for the measure in Mexico is overwhelming as evidenced by the majority that the legislative proposal received in Congress: 442 for, 1 against. A cosmetics executive in Mexico commented, “Consumers are demanding access to organic products, of natural origin, that respect the environment and animals. Companies are also becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility to contribute to a better environment. We expected it and are ready for the change.”

The cosmetics executive predicted that similar legislation would be brought in across the region, “Brazil has always been a leader in this space, now that the two largest markets are protecting animal rights, it is inevitable that other markets, such as Colombia and Chile, will follow.” Chile and Argentina currently have legislative proposals at the early stages of congressional approval.

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