The European Parliament wants the European Union to kick off a high-level diplomatic campaign to lobby for a worldwide ban on animal testing in the cosmetics industry. MEPs want the EU to draw on its own 2013 ban and use its diplomatic power to build “a coalition to launch an international convention within the UN framework” in order to ban all animal testing before 2023.
A Maltese lawmaker Miriam Dalli said that Europe’s cosmetics industry was thriving even under the EU ban and it has had several positive effects on the industry by spurring innovation. Ms. Dalli pointed out that “humane alternatives to animal tests can include simple organisms like bacteria or human tissues and cells, as well as sophisticated computer models. It simply makes no sense to continue causing unjustified pain to animals”.
The EU put a ban on animal testing in March 2009, a deadline that was extended in March 2013 for the most complex tests such as skin sensitization, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, toxicokinetics and dose systematic toxicity. Animal testing is, however, still allowed in healthcare and pharma industry as well as some chemicals and food. In other words, as the EU Parliament pointed out, “most ingredients” in cosmetic products “may therefore have been tested on animals under different laws”.
But 80% of countries across the world still allow animal testing for cosmetic products, the Parliament stressed. “We estimate that over half a million animals – from rabbits to mice, rats, guinea pigs, and hamsters – are still used annually in cruel and unnecessary cosmetics testing worldwide,” Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, an animal rights NGO, said and added that “five years after the full EU bans, the time is right to go one step further.”