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July 6, 2012

European Commission President Barroso Urged to Intervene to Prevent Sabotage of EU Sales Ban of Animal-Tested Cosmetics

Humane Society International/Europe

  • The 2013 ban should stand. istock

BRUSSELS, Belgium—Leading animal protection organisation Humane Society International has written [PDF] to the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, urging his intervention to prevent the European Union’s ban on selling animal-tested cosmetics from being undermined by creating a derogation (loophole). HSI warned that it was disingenuous for EU Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli to claim that a derogation allowing animal testing under certain circumstances would leave the ban “untouched.”

HSI met with Commissioner Dalli on June 18 to deliver more than 350,000 petition signatures from EU citizens calling for the EU sales ban to be implemented in full and on time in March 2013. The ban was originally introduced in 1993 to come into effect in 1998, but has continually been postponed. HSI was alarmed to learn during the meeting with the Commissioner that, despite the clear will of EU citizens, the Commission was still considering a derogation that would allow cosmetics companies to test on animals in certain circumstances and continue to sell their products in Europe.

“The industry has had 20 years since EU legislators first promised to ensure that EU shop-shelves are free of animal-tested cosmetics. Consumers and animals must not be made to wait a moment longer for the suffering to end,” said Emily McIvor, senior EU policy adviser for HSI. “HSI has taken the pleas of hundreds of thousands of EU citizens direct to the Commission, which seems intent on misleading consumers by appearing to implement the ban while sabotaging it with a loophole that will allow cosmetics companies to contuinue profiting from animal testing. We are pleading with President Barroso to intervene and ensure that the Commission does the honourable thing. Consumers were promised a ban—not a ban with a loophole.”

Cruelty-free cosmetics giant Lush recently wrote to Commissioner Dalli outlining its commitment to the 2013 sales ban and asking him to consider its “potential business advantages.” Hundreds of companies, including more than 400 certified under the international Leaping Bunny scheme, are already 2013-compliant, having committed not to use ‘new to the world’ cosmetic ingredients until non-animal tests are available. The 2013 ban will not prevent these companies from innovating because the thousands of cosmetic ingredients already known to be safe can still be used and reformulated to create new and exciting products.

Check out hsi.org/becrueltyfree for campaign news and cruelty-free consumer advice.


Media contact: Wendy Higgins, +44 (0)7989 972 423, whiggins@hsi.org

HSI’s letter to President Barroso can be read here [PDF]

At their meeting on June 18th, Commissioner Dalli revealed to HSI that he is considering proposing a derogation to the 2013 sales ban whereby company applications for individual ingredients to be tested on animals could be assessed in exceptional circumstances to see if testing would be allowed.

Humane Society International 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 programmes. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—on the Web at hsieurope.org.

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