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‘Let’s not be left behind’ – statesman calls for commitment to animal testing ban in India

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 15-Jan-2013

Last week, India’s Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr G N Singh met with MP Maneka Gandhi , and now Humane Society International has applauded statesman Ramalinga Reddy for urging swift action to update Indian law to end animal testing of cosmetics.

The Member of Legislative AssemblyShri. wrote to India’s Ministers of Health, Environment, as well as Consumer Affairs/President of the Bureau of Indian Standards and pledged his support for HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign, saying India must not be left behind in the global effort to eliminate cruelty in the cosmetics industry.

“Conventional animal tests are decades old, first devised when science had only a very basic understanding of toxicity,” Reddy wrote. “We must ensure that India is the next major market in the world to ban cosmetics animal testing.”

Pivotal point

MLA Reddy’s letter was addressed to the three key regulators for safety testing of cosmetics and animal experimentation in India, and comes at a pivotal point in the global drive to replace animals in cosmetics testing.

It comes after Israel banned the import of cosmetics tested on animals , and ahead of the European sales ban that comes into play from March 11, 2013.

“At a time when as many as 18,000 existing cosmetic ingredients are available to manufacturers and more than 400 companies around the globe have sworn off the use of new ingredients that have been or may be tested on animals, there can be no excuse for India not taking a pro-active stance towards eliminating animals in the testing of cosmetics,” added Reddy.

HSI support

HSI India, who fully support both Gandhi and Reddy’s pledges, has already been working with its partners and building collaborations to submit legislative amendments to the government that will see animal testing replaced with advanced, non-animal research methods.

“We are also working with other Members of Parliament (MP) and State Assemblies (MLA) in trying to pressurize the Government to implement a blanket ban on animal testing for cosmetics,” Alokparna Sengupta, HSI India’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign manager told CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com.

“For example, we have actress Debasree Roy, an MLA from West Bengal who has supported our cause and more recently, Mr Ramalinga Reddy.”

HSI India also recently met with the Drug Controller General of India alongside some of the biggest companies in the cosmetics industry and developed a strategy for achieving an end to cosmetics testing on animals.

“With the great support of Mr. Ramalinga Reddy, we feel sure we will be able to push for what is best for both humans and animals, an end to testing that is neither ethical nor scientifically credible,” added Sengupta.

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