The India government has is considering introducing a ban on the testing of cosmetic products on animals, following lobby group pressure.
The government sent a representative from its Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for talks with the India branch of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), according to a report in the Times of India.
The meeting, held in New Delhi earlier this week, also included representatives from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, who were gathered to discuss a nationwide end to the activity, which is already banned in many other major markets worldwide.
India cosmetics markets playing catch up?
The talks were headed up by Dr. Chaitanaya Koduri, PETA science policy advisor and S Manivannan, CDSCO deputy drug controller to try and move the Indian market towards markets such as those in the European Union, where a ban on the testing of cosmetic products was introduced many years ago and where a ban on the testing of cosmetic ingredients on animals is soon to be introduced.
In the European Union a complete ban on the testing of cosmetic ingredients on animals is scheduled to take full effect by 2013, a process that has taken many years to implement and a deadline that has been stalled and postponed on more than one occasion.
According to a statement by PETA India, the result of the meeting has led the organisation to believe that the ministry has shown a clear willingness to consider a proposal to ban animal testing on cosmetic products.
Moving towards concrete discussions
The next move will be to arrange a meeting with the Indian Standards Cosmetics Sectional Committee to see if a concrete proposal can be drawn up for discussion.
"Testing cosmetics on animals is old-fashioned, unnecessary, kills animals and does nothing to protect consumers," Dr Koduri said.
"Today there are human-relevant and humane non-animal methods of testing the safety of cosmetic products. If the EU can ban cosmetic testing on animals, so can India," Dr Koduri added.