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Hollywood stars urge EC to stick to its guns on 2013 animal testing ban

By Andrew McDougall , 26-Aug-2011
Last updated the 26-Aug-2011 at 13:09 GMT

Actress Alicia Silverstone has joined True Blood star Kristin Bauer in urging the European Commission to stand by its proposed 2013 ban on the marketing of animal-tested products.

Legislation was passed in 2003 establishing a ban that will begin in 2013, but there is some doubt as to whether or not it will be delayed beyond that year.

Earlier this year the EC’s Joint Research Centre published an update on the situation and explained it may take years for non-animal testing to become fully available. Despite substantial progress made over the past few years, JRC predicts that many alternative methods will not be available by the 2013 deadline.

Letters from Silverstone (left) and Bauer (right) sent to EC

Forced into action

The hesitation has prompted Silverstone to write to the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, and urge the EC to stay on track with the proposed ban.

“The impending ban has motivated cosmetics companies in the EU, the US, and around the globe to invest in high-tech alternatives to animal tests,” she writes.

“Significant progress has already been made toward replacing animal-based cosmetics tests. But if you allow this deadline to slip away, cosmetics companies will be less motivated to invest in new test methods.”

Silverstone highlights how non-animal chemical tests are faster cheaper and more effective, and that it is important to encourage cosmetic companies to keep investigating new testing methods and keep the ban on track.

Silverstone echoes pleas from Bauer

Silverstone’s letter follows a similar one sent to Commissioner Dalli earlier this month by fellow actress, Kristin Bauer.

In Bauer’s letter to Dalli, she also expressed hope that the ban will encourage a larger movement toward cruelty-free testing without animals.

“The EU’s 2013 deadline sends a strong message to companies in Europe and America—and around the world—that it’s time to move away from inhumane animal tests and toward better, more human-relevant methods for testing cosmetics and other products.”

“These nonanimal methods are more accurate and cheaper than animal tests, in addition to being humane. That’s why the governments of Belgium, Austria, and Sweden recently reiterated their support for the EU’s 2013 deadline,” adds Bauer.

Progress being made?

The news comes only days after industry body Colipa highlighted the latest progress on finding alternatives to animal testing at a congress held in Canada.

Colipa stated that there is a big focus on finding solutions, looking at replacement, reduction, and refinement, with the cosmetics industry, through Colipa, spending €37m on research into alternatives between 2007 and 2014, more than any other sector.

The presentation team in Montreal also underlined the fact that the cosmetics industry has worked hard in its goal to find alternatives, investing like no other sector to meet EU guidelines and the agreed deadline to end all testing of cosmetics ingredients on animals.

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