Smith Condemns Cosmetic Industry For Backsliding On Animals

14 May 2011

SNP MEP Alyn Smith, has urged the Commission not to cave in to the cosmetics industry pressure for postponement in introducing a marketing ban, agreed in 2003, on cosmetics products tested on animals.

The cosmetics industry have known since 2003 that they needed to find alternative non-animal testing methods but are now backtracking on the agreement.

In 2009, the sales ban came into force but with exceptions for products subject to three specific toxicity tests for which no effective non-animal testing methods were available. The cosmetics industry was warned it had four years - until March 2013 - until the marketing ban was extended to cover such products too. However, the industry is now backtracking and there is concern that the ban on animal-tested cosmetics may be delayed as there are reports that the cosmetics industry has not yet developed suitable replacement tests.

Smith wrote to Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli back in March declaring his firm support for the 2013 deadline for the cosmetics industry to find alternative non-testing methods and received a response outlining that the Commission is evaluating all options in relation to the 2013 implementation date and assessing the impacts.

Smith said:

"I completely oppose any extension to this deadline as the directive granted a sufficient time period to allow the cosmetics industry to develop adequate alternatives to animal testing. It is unethical for the cosmetics industry to ask for an extension and continue to cause animal suffering in the meantime for products like lipstick and shampoo. Putting animals before vanity is long overdue.

"I have been inundated with constituents voicing their concerns about a possible postponement. I urge the Commission to uphold the deadline and ensure that in 2013 the EU becomes the world's first cruelty-free cosmetics zone."