No more animal testing for cosmetics – India

No more animal testing for cosmetics – India

India on Friday decided to ban animal testing for cosmetics, becoming the first country in South Asia to do so.

The Bureau of Indian Standards has now approved the removal of any mention of animal tests from the country’s cosmetics standard, according to Humane Society International (HSI).  The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by the Drugs Controller General of India, Dr GN Singh. M embers of the BIS committee for prescribing safety standards for cosmetics, representatives of cosmetics companies and HSI were also present at the meeting.

“”Any manufacturer interested in testing new cosmetic ingredients or finished products must first seek approval from India’s Central Drug Standards Control Organization. A manufacturer will be given approval to test only after complying with the BIS non-animal standards,”” an official release from HSI said. Consequently, it will now be mandatory for cosmetics companies to use alternative non-animal tests for evaluating the safety standards of their products. However, the ban has not been extended to products imported from other countries.

“”What this means is that if a cosmetics company wishes to test its products on animals in India, it will not be allowed to do so. Essentially, products manufactured in India will be cruelty-free,”” said Alokparna Sengupta, HSI’s campaign manager for India, who attended the meeting. “”In February, the DGCI had directed fast-tracking of deletion of the final two animal tests from India’s cosmetics safety standard. Subsequently, a draft inviting comments from all stakeholders was put up on the BIS website and was in circulation till May. On Friday, finally, a decision was taken to replace invasive tests on animals with alternative methods.””

What this means

India is catching up to European and western standards and differentiating itself deeply from China which REQUIRES animal testing of most cosmetics products before they can be sold (keeping  many products out of the market since companies such as John Paul Mitchell and Burt’s Bees decline to test their products on animals on grounds of principle). Note that the procedure does not appear to ban import of cosmetics that may have been tested on animals. Don’t be surprised if that part of the process also changes in a few months/years.


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