The European Court of Justice on Thursday weighed in on a legal dispute centered on bath bombs that look like they can be eaten.
EU countries can ban edible-looking cosmetic products, such as bath bombs, especially if they pose a risk to children, the court said. But this should be done on a case-by-case basis, and it’s not enough for a product to look like food for it to be banned.
The case relates to a decision made by Lithuanian authorities to force U.K.-based Get Fresh Cosmetics Limited to withdraw a number of bath bombs, citing the danger they pose to children who could confuse them for food. The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania asked the CJEU to provide an opinion on how to interpret relevant EU law.
The company, which trades as Bomb Cosmetics, markets a number of bath bombs that resemble food, including the Cherry Bathe-Well Bath Blaster, covered in faux frosting, sprinkles and topped with a red “cherry.”
The CJEU was asked by the Lithuanian court whether “it must be shown by objective and substantiated data that the placing in the mouth of products which, although not foodstuffs, have the appearance of foodstuffs, may entail risks to health or safety.”
In its judgment, the CJEU cited a directive regulating products “which, appearing to be other than they are, endanger the health or safety of consumers.” It said that risks should be considered on “on a case-by-case basis” while noting that there was no requirement for authorities to provide “objective and substantiated data” proving that they are likely to be mistakenly consumed as food.
It is now up to the Lithuanian court to come to a final ruling on the products.