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MEPs call for worldwide ban on animal testing of cosmetics

MEPs call for worldwide ban on animal testing of cosmetics

Photo © Vit Kovalcik - Fotolia

(BRUSSELS) - The EU should launch a diplomatic drive for a worldwide ban on the animal testing of cosmetics before 2023, the European Parliament's Environment Committee said on Tuesday.

The sale of all animal-tested cosmetics has been banned within the European Union since 2013.

MEPs pointed out that this has not prevented the EU cosmetics industry from thriving and providing around two million jobs.

However, around 80 per cent of countries worldwide still allow animal testing and the marketing of cosmetics tested on animals.

At the environment panel meeting, MEPs noted that shortcomings have appeared within the EU system, as some cosmetics are tested on animals outside the EU before being re-tested in the EU using alternative methods and placed on the EU market.

They also noted that most cosmetic product ingredients are also used in many other products, such as pharmaceuticals, detergents or foods, and may therefore have been tested on animals under a different legal framework. They call on the EU to support the development of alternative testing methods.

The lack of reliable animal testing data on cosmetics imported into the EU also remains a serious issue, they say. The EU should also make sure that sure that no product placed on its market has been tested on animals in a third country, they add.

To work towards a global ban on both animal testing for cosmetics and on the trade in cosmetic ingredients tested on animals, MEPs are now calling on EU leaders to use their diplomatic networks to build a coalition and to launch an international convention within the UN framework. The ban should be effective before 2023, they say.

They also want to make sure that the EU ban is not weakened, whether in trade negotiations or by World Trade Organisation rules.

The resolution, approved unanimously, will be put to a vote at Parliament's March plenary session in Strasbourg.

According to the Special Eurobarometer survey No 442 of March 2016, 89% of EU citizens agree that the EU should do more to promote a greater awareness of the importance of animal welfare internationally, and 90% of EU citizens agree that it is important to establish high animal welfare standards that are recognised across the world.

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