A Communication adopted by the
Commission on 11th March 2013 confirms the Commission's commitment to respect the
deadline set by Council and Parliament in 2003 and outlines how it
intends to further support research and innovation in this area while
promoting animal welfare world-wide.
European Commissioner in charge of Health & Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, stated: "Today's
entry into force of the full marketing ban gives an important signal on
the value that Europe attaches to animal welfare. The Commission is
committed to continue supporting the development of alternative methods
and to engage with third countries to follow our European approach. This
is a great opportunity for Europe to set an example of responsible
innovation in cosmetics without any compromise on consumer safety."
The Commission has thoroughly
assessed the impacts of the marketing ban and considers that there are
overriding reasons to implement it. This is in line with what many
European citizens believe firmly: that the development of cosmetics does not warrant animal testing.
The quest to find alternative methods will continue as full replacement of animal testing by alternative methods is not yet possible.
The Communication published today outlines the Commission's
contribution to the research into alternative methods and the
recognition that these efforts must be continued. The Commission has
made about EUR 238 million available between the years 2007 and 2011 for such research. The cosmetics industry has contributed as well, for example by co-funding the SEURAT1 research initiative with EUR 25 million.
The leading and global role of Europe in cosmetics requires reaching out to trading partners to explain and promote the European model
and to work towards the international acceptance of alternative
methods. The Commission will make this an integral part of the Union's
trade agenda and international cooperation.
Directive 2003/15/EC introduced provisions in relation into animal testing into the Cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC. Accordingly, animal testing in the Union is already prohibited since 2004 for cosmetic products and since 2009 for cosmetic ingredients
('testing ban'). As from March 2009, it is also prohibited to market in
the Union cosmetic products containing ingredients which have been
tested on animals ('marketing ban'). For the most complex human health
effects (repeated-dose toxicity, including skin sensitisation and
carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics) the deadline
for the marketing ban was extended to 11 March 2013.
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