Animal testing: NGOs urge Commission to keep its promises
By Ophélie Spanneut | Wednesday 20 June 2012
Disguised as white rabbits, 27 activists handed over a petition signed by 350,000 people to Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner John Dalli, on 20 June in Brussels. The petition calls for an end to the testing of cosmetics on animals. After their demonstration, the signatories met the commissioner to present their request and arguments.
The animal rights NGO Humane Society International (HSI) fears that the ban, set to enter into force on 11 March 2013, may be postponed. The Cosmetics Directive, revised in 2003, phases out animal testing: from 2004 for finished products and from March 2009 for ingredients. But a derogation exists for tests related to complex toxicological effects, such as the toxicity of repeated doses, reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics. The ban will be total from March 2013. As this deadline approaches, the cosmetics industry is making it known that it will not be ready to comply with the ban in the absence of alternative methods. The European Commission even announced, in September 2011, that it would be impossible to develop replacement methods by 2013. European regulators are consequently trying to find a way out (see
The aim of the HSI campaign is to put out a message to the Commission, explained Emily McIvor, adviser at HSI Europe: “Animals are dying because Europe is buying. We and hundreds of thousands of consumers are calling on EU policy makers to keep their promise to stop the suffering by banning the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in 2013”.
Another participant in the campaign, the cosmetics firm LUSH, has written to Dalli to refute the industry’s argument that the ban would be detrimental to business interests.