I met with BUAV last week for an update on their current campaigning. Their main issue is ensuring that the 2013 EU-wide ban on the sale, marketing and import of cosmetics tested on animals goes ahead. The cosmetics industry is – quelle surprise – lobbying against it, saying they’re not ready, despite the fact this has had an incredibly long lead in time for the industry to get prepared. They’ve done nothing, and now they’re complaining.
Many people think we already have a ban on cosmetics testing on animals. Well, we do – the Labour government introduced it in the UK very soon after it came to power in 1997. (Any chance someone out there could say three cheers for the Labour government? No, I thought not…) But that just means companies can’t do the testing here. They can still sell, advertise and import cosmetics which are tested. Hence the need for an EU-wide ban.
I should also point out, this ban is on testing going forward… If a product has already been tested, you can’t turn the clock back, the harm has been done. It would only apply to new products and new ingredients. So what we’re talking about is the burning desire of the cosmetics industry to develop new things to sell to us, in a bid to make even more money from us.
There’s an EU wide campaign to get a million signatures on a petition from all the countries in the EU which will then force a debate in the EU Parliament on this issue. (Under the EU Citizens Initiative). That’s a million divided by…. But we’re not, for obvious reasons, expecting every EU country to gather an equal number of signatures, so it’s not possible to say how many UK people are needed to sign up – just ‘as many as possible’.
So sign up here : http://buav.org/our-campaigns/no-cruel-cosmetics
I’ve also tabled a parliamentary question, trying to get more information on when we can expect a ban on the testing of household products, which all the parties signed up to before the election. The Minister is Lynne Featherstone who, frankly, doesn’t seem that interested in the animal experiments side of her Home Office brief. (It’s Home Office because the testing has to be licensed.) In the meantime, all M+S household products are cruelty-free, as are the Co-op’s own brand, as well of course as the more obvious ethical/eco brands like Ecover. So, sorry to nag, but you really have no excuse…