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PCRM urges Europe to uphold 2013 marketing ban on animal testing as pressure builds

By Andrew McDougall , 25-Oct-2011
Last updated on 25-Oct-2011 at 17:58 GMT

The Washington based doctors group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is reacting to fears that the upcoming marketing ban of animal-tested cosmetics is in jeopardy by today delivering to the commission’s Brussels headquarters nearly 25,000 letters of support for sticking to the deadline.

The letters from European Union residents and people around the world to E.C. Commissioner John Dalli call on the commission to maintain its 2013 deadline for a ban on the marketing of cosmetic products tested on animals.

The ban, passed in 2003, was to become effective in 2013, but there is pressure on the Commission to delay implementation of the ban, with the final decision expected to be announced by the end of 2011.

Time to make a decision

“It’s time to stop using animals to test new shades of lipstick and eye shadow,” said Nancy Beck, a PCRM scientific and policy adviser. “The European Commission’s plan gave companies an additional 10 years to develop and adopt non-animal methods.”

“Now, we do have non-animal methods that can be used in combination to replace these animal tests. With the 2013 deadline finally in sight, the European Commission must uphold its commitment, which is critical to protecting animals and human health.”

The governments of Belgium, Sweden and Austria recently reiterated their support for the original deadline, which has also drawn support from such Hollywood celebrities such as Alicia Silverstone and True Blood’s Kristin Bauer, as reported by CosmeticsDesign.com earlier this year .

EC yet to confirm

Last month the EC presented its yearly report to the European Parliament and Council highlighting the development of alternative methods to animal testing in cosmetics, but is yet to confirm the full marketing ban will be implemented by 2013.

The report stressed the continued commitment in Europe and worldwide to find alternative approaches, however despite this commitment and progress, the Commission said these remaining ‘complex endpoints’ will not be possible by the 2013 deadline.

Instead the Commission is currently assessing the impact of the entry into force of the ban in 2013 without alternatives and will decide on next steps on the basis of the full impact assessment.

Health and Consumer Commissioner, John Dalli said "Over the last 20 years more than 200 million euros has been dedicated to research in this area in the EU and the commitment to finding alternatives to animal testing continues both in Europe and worldwide.”

“This research and development has not only reduced the number of animals used in testing, it is at the same time yielding important results in terms of better science to the benefit of consumer safety."

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