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February 23, 2011

HSI Europe Disappointed by EU Commission’s Failure to Commit to Upholding 2013 Ban on Animal-Tested Cosmetics

Humane Society International/Europe

Humane Society International/Europe [1] has reacted strongly following a meeting with European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli, who revealed that he would not commit to supporting a legislative ban on selling animal-tested cosmetics. The promised ban, provided for in the EU’s cosmetics directive [2], would end the sale after 2013 of cosmetics with ingredients that have been tested on animals. The ban was originally agreed to in 1993 and was due to come into force in January 1998; however, the deadline has been pushed back three times—to June 2000, then June 2002, and now until March 2013 [3].

Says HSI Europe senior policy adviser Emily McIvor:

“European citizens have been waiting nearly 20 years for the long-promised sales ban for animal-tested cosmetics to be implemented. The public is tired of excuses, delays and broken promises and expects shop shelves to be cruelty-free by 2013. Animal testing of cosmetics is already banned in EU laboratories, so to allow these products to be sold in EU shops is morally inconsistent. Thousands of caring consumers around the globe have already signed HSI’s on-line petition sending the strongest possible message to EU decision-makers that they want an end to animal testing for cosmetics, without delay.”

Following years of public protest, animal testing of cosmetics was banned within the EU in 2009, but cosmetic products containing ingredients tested on animals outside the EU are still legally on sale. Cosmetics animal testing is still common in countries such as the United States, China and Brazil. The EU cosmetics directive provides for a Europe-wide sales ban on these products to be phased in from 2004 and fully implemented by 2013. The ban would, in effect, lead companies to stop animal testing outside the EU if they intend to market there.

Humane Society International’s Cruelty-Free 2013 petition can be signed at www.hsi.org/crueltyfree2013.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1. Humane Society International/Europe and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organisations—backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—on the Web at hsieurope.org.

2. EU cosmetics directive: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:1976L0768:20100301:en:PDF

3. Response from Commissioner Dalli to a Parliamentary Question from MEP Keith Taylor (available upon request).

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