DTAB reportedly took the decision to recommend that a provision be added to the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules in a meeting held on November 25.
This move would bring India in line with European rules concerning cosmetics importing, with the EU passing a complete ban on the use of animal-tested beauty products earlier this year.
The decision follows a campaign by PETA and MP Maneka Gandhi to ban the import of animal-tested cosmetics, and has been welcomed by animal rights groups in the region.
Indian animal testing ban
India recently became the first country in Southeast Asia to fully ban the testing of cosmetics on animals, with a new law in June making alternative methods mandatory.
At the time, MP Baijyant ‘Jay’ Panda commented to news site The Hindu: ”Our government must go a step further by banning cosmetics products that are tested on animals abroad and then imported and sold here in India.”
Animal rights activist MP Maneka Ghandi has also commented on the prospect of bringing India’s regulations in line with the EU and US, stating in an interview with CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com earlier this year that such a move would ”ensure an immediate upgrade in India’s safety standards” and also allow for more effective exports to the EU.
Humane Society International comments
Humane Society International, whose Be Cruelty Free campaign in India successfully put pressure on MPs to change the law, has responded with enthusiasm to this development. Campaign manager for India Alokparna Sengupta commented: "Humane Society International/India is delighted to have the support of so many prestigious MPs."
"Their voices have helped us convince the Drug Technical Advisory Board to recommend an import and sales ban on animal-tested cosmetics. We believe that for as long as it is legal for cosmetics to be animal-tested in other countries and imported into India for sale, it is inconsistent with India's test ban."
Animal rights group PETA has welcomed this development, with PETA India’s science policy advisor Dr Chaitanya Koduri commenting: “We commend DTAB for their recommendation, which can only mean good things for animals and good things for science.”
“Compliance with international standards can help ensure cruel and outdated animals test for lipstick and eye-shadow become history around the globe. PETA India looks forward to the Ministry for Health and Family Welfare officially bringing in a ban on cosmetics tested on animals abroad and working with the government on the next step.”