EU Bans All Animal-Tested Cosmetics

Do your students enjoy reading the news in English? Do you look for different topics from the news that might interest your students? We have a topic that will get your students talking! This topic is based on a news story from the Huffington Post.

Setting an Example

The European Union has officially banned the sale of all new cosmetics that have been tested on animals. This ban is a bit different than the ban that has already been in effect in the EU since 2009. The new 2013 ban includes testing for toxicity that could lead to serious health effects such as cancer (previously allowed). The ban also extends to imported cosmetics. Cosmetic companies worldwide that want to sell products in the EU will have to prove that their products are safe to humans without using animal testing. Old cosmetic products tested on animals that are already on the shelves in the EU will not be pulled, however. More in this BBC article…

Some people in the cosmetic industry say that this new ban will mean that the cosmetic industry will no longer remain innovative.  

“by implementing the ban at this time, the European Union is jeopardizing the industry’s ability to innovate” ~ Bertil Heerink, Cosmetics Europe chief

Do your students agree or disagree with this quote? 

The Loophole

Do your students know the word “loophole”? Here is a good example of one. Like many laws and bans, this new ban leaves a loophole. New cosmetics made outside the EU may still contain ingredients that have been tested on animals if the ingredients are used in pharmaceuticals or other chemicals. The tricky part is that the companies will have to prove that their finished products are safe without data based on animal testing. More in this New York Times article…

Collocations in English

Here are some common collocations that are found in the Huffington Post article. Whether you choose to paraphrase the article or share it with your students (advanced), these commonly used expressions will be useful when discussing this topic.

  • to take effect immediately
  • to set a good example
  • to believe firmly
  • to generate (X amount of $) in revenue
  • to cheer a decision

The Beauty of a Digital Library

One great thing about using a digital library for your supplementary materials is that you can find materials that are up to date. We updated our Mini-Debates lesson plan on Animal Testing today. The new lesson plan mentions the 2009 EU ban and the 2013 ban. It includes a warmup, a reading, comprehension questions, vocabulary review activities, and debate topics. We hope you’ll give this lesson plan a try in your classroom! Check out our Teacher’s Guide for ideas on using our Mini-Debates lesson plans in class.


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