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Canada | Comprehensive Guide to Health Canada's New Regulations on Cosmetic Animal Testing

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Health Canada published a Guidance: Animal Testing Ban on cosmetics. This guidance document outlines the new ban on cosmetic testing on animals in Canada, as set out in the Food and Drugs Act. The guide is designed for members of the cosmetics industry and provides information on the background, prohibitions, and exceptions related to animal testing.

The document communicates Health Canada's interpretation of the new requirements in the Food and Drugs Act, effective from December 22, 2023. The ban on cosmetic testing on animals aims to align with global efforts to reduce reliance on animal testing.

Who this guide is for:

  • Targeted towards members of the cosmetic industry.

This guidance document from Health Canada serves as a comprehensive resource for the cosmetics industry, outlining the ban on cosmetic testing on animals, exceptions, and the evidence required to support compliance. It emphasizes the importance of alternative testing methods and aligns with global efforts to reduce reliance on animal testing in the cosmetic industry.

The guidance document is structured as following:

Background (Section 1.0):

  • Health Canada's mandate is to ensure the safety of cosmetics sold in Canada.
  • Before the ban, there were no specific restrictions on the type of data used to establish the safety of cosmetics.
  • The ban emphasizes the shift towards alternative testing methods and discourages reliance on animal testing.

Prohibitions (Sections 2.0, 3.0, 4.0):

  • Prohibition on conducting cosmetic animal testing.
  • Prohibition on selling cosmetics relying on animal testing data.
  • Prohibition on false claims regarding animal testing on labels and in advertising.

Circumstances Where Animal Testing Data Is Permitted (Section 3.2):

  • Outlines exceptions allowing the use of animal testing data, such as government-published data, publicly available data, mixed-use ingredients, previously-generated data, cosmetics sold before the prohibition, and additional circumstances.

Prohibition on False Claims (Section 4.0):

  • Prohibits making claims on labels or in advertisements that create the impression a cosmetic was not tested on animals, unless evidence is provided.

Supplying Evidence Upon Request (Section 5.0):

  • Health Canada may request evidence to ensure compliance with the ban.
  • Acceptable evidence includes affidavits, continuous monitoring systems, independent audits, and standard operating procedures.

Illustrative Examples (Appendix A):

  • Provides examples illustrating how the ban and exceptions apply to specific cosmetic products and situations.

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