Government of Canada passes legislation prohibiting animal testing of cosmetic products

2 minute read
05 July 2023

Amendments to the Food and Drugs Act which, among other things, prohibit animal testing of cosmetic products, received Royal Assent on June 22, 2023. The amendments were included in Bill C-47 (An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 28, 2023).

The new amendments, which had broad industry support in Canada, prohibit:

  • Selling a cosmetic unless its safety can be established without relying on a test conducted on an animal that could cause physical or mental pain, suffering or injury to the animal.
  • Conducting a test on an animal for the purpose of meeting a requirement of the Food and Drugs Act and its regulations, or a requirement of a foreign state, that relates to the safety of cosmetics.
  • Making a claim that a cosmetic product was not tested on animals, unless the person making the claim has evidence that no such testing has occurred.

The sales prohibition is subject to exceptions, including for data derived from an animal test conducted before the coming into force date of the amendments, which is December 22, 2023, and does not apply if a cosmetic was sold in Canada prior to that date.

Other products regulated under the Food and Drugs Act such as foods, drugs and natural health products are not subject to the new prohibitions related to animal testing.

Gowling WLG has professionals knowledgeable in cosmetic product regulatory requirements. Please contact us with any questions or concerns with respect to how these amendments may impact your business.

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