Dalli favours exemptions to animal testing ban
By Brian Beary in Washington | Thursday 28 June 2012
While he wants to maintain the March 2013 deadline for complying with an EU-wide ban on selling cosmetic products tested on animals, Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli favours exempting certain companies from that ban. An exemption should be given to “those companies which can prove that they need to have specific animal testing for an innovative product that will be beneficial to society and the environment,” Dalli said, on 27 June, speaking at the European Institute in Washington DC. He will present a proposal, which will need European Parliament and Council of Ministers backing to pass, “by the end of the year,” he said, during an event that was sponsored by the Personal Care Products Council, the US cosmetics industry lobby.
This would be “a balanced solution” that takes into account “not just animal welfare but human welfare as well,” he argued, adding that the European Commission was conducting an impact assessment of its plans. “Postponing the deadline is simply postponing the issue,” he said. Dalli also noted that he had raised the issue with China’s health minister during a visit to that country in March as Beijing requ ires products to be tested on animals. “He was receptive to our comments, he asked us for information about alternative testing in Europe,” he said, while noting that he was trying to persuade China “not to insist on animal testing”.
Animal rights groups are worried that Dalli’s proposal will undermine the ban enshrined in the 2003 Cosmetics Directive, while the cosmetics industry says it needs more time to develop alternatives to animal testing for certain complex tests. The issue also affects the US industry as animal testing of cosmetics is permitted in the US.