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September 30, 2014

HSI/India Confident of Government’s Commitment to Cosmetics Animal Testing Ban Despite Opposition from Industry

HSI/India says industry’s argument prevents consumers from fulfilling their fundamental duties

Humane Society International/India

  • Dra Schwartz/istock

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is sure to keep its word on making India the first country in South Asia to become a cruelty-free cosmetics zone, despite industry pressure, says Humane Society International/India’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign.

Since May, when the government announced a prohibition on animal testing for cosmetics in India and proposed a ban on the import of animal-tested cosmetics from abroad, cosmetic industry stakeholders in the cosmetics industry have raised objections, and questioned whether India is ready for such bans. At a time when India has ambitions of taking a leading role in 21st century science and technology, such attitudes are regressive, unfounded and unconstitutional, says HSI/India.

Alokparna Sengupta, HSI India’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign manager, says: “It is unfortunate that some cosmetic companies that are already in full compliance with a test and sales ban in the 28 countries of the Europe Union now see fit to resist a similar ban in India. We have heard the industry’s arguments during extensive consultation meetings, and not a single issue raised justifies tampering with India’s cosmetics animal testing ban, nor the long-awaited import ban.

“Surely, as these companies are able to produce safe, new and profitable beauty products without recourse to new animal testing in Europe, they shall be able to do so in India too,” she continued. “Testing cosmetics on animals goes against the non-violence principle of Ahimsa, and protecting sentient animals from suffering is enshrined in India’s constitution as the duty of every citizen.

Becoming the first fully cruelty-free cosmetics zone in South Asia will be a proud day for our country. As we celebrate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, we hope that the cosmetics industry will not stand in the way of India’s progress.”

HSI has been instrumental in ending animal testing for cosmetics in India, participating in intensive stakeholder meetings and dialogue with both industry and the government. Despite industry protests, Sengupta said, she is confident the government will retain both the testing ban and implementation of the import ban.
HSI believes no valid reason exists for India to adopt a weaker standard than the EU. In fact, the EU’s animal testing bans provide a major impetus for both government and industry to prioritize investment in the development and validation of additional non-animal approaches to safety testing. With these modern tests scientifically surpassing outdated and unreliable animal tests, investments today will contribute to tomorrow’s innovations, allowing India’s cosmetics sector to keep pace with its global counterparts in an ethical and sustainable manner.
Media contact: Navamita Mukherjee, +919985472760, nmukherjee@hsi.org

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