European Commission to Pamela Anderson: Thanks for Getting in Touch About Cosmetics Testing
As Yvonne reported last month, the famous Pamela Anderson brought welcome attention to the threat to the 2013 deadline for banning the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the EU by writing to the (slightly less famous) European Commissioner, John Dalli, about it on our behalf.
Since then, I’ve met the key people in Mr Dalli’s cabinet to discuss the 2013 ban, and one of them has also sent a reply to Pam. The good news is that Mr Dalli and his team clearly recognise the strength of feeling on this issue, and no decision has been made yet. While their reply to Pam is poker-faced about their plans, it notes that the bans on animal testing under the cosmetics directive have helped Europe to make “huge progress” on developing alternatives and cutting cosmetics tests on animals and says they will “place particular importance” on animal welfare when making their decision. In my meeting, Mr Dalli’s team made it very clear that retaining the 2013 deadline completely unchanged is very much an option they’re still considering.
The bad news is that the cosmetics industry is lobbying for a delay, and they employ a lot of people and make a lot of money in the EU. Still worse, because the Commission’s own official scientific report on alternatives to animal testing was written by people half asleep, the Commission believes that suitable alternatives to animal tests won’t be available in time for 2013, and they feel pressure to come up with some sort of “compromise”.
PETA and compassionate people throughout Europe think cosmetics testing is outrageous and will accept no compromise on banning it, of course. No lipstick or shampoo is worth an animals’ life – and without the threat of a sales ban, the industry’s “commitment” to developing alternatives is likely to become a lot weaker. The 2013 deadline must stay, and in our meeting, we left the Commission in no doubt about our position on that. An initial decision by the Commission is expected early next year, but even if they do decide to propose any sort of postponement of the 2013 deadline or any exceptions to it, the European Parliament and member state governments still have to agree to it, so we’ll have plenty of further opportunity to fight them.
If you haven’t already done so, please contact Mr Dalli yourself and ask your friends and family to do the same.