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The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) has welcomed the position of Mr Tonio Borg, Commissioner Designate for the Health and Consumer Affairs portfolio, on the need for the Cosmetics Directive marketing ban to come into force in March 2013.
During the three hour long hearing in the European Parliament today, Members of the European Parliament grilled Mr Borg on his position on a number of issues. MEP Dagmar Roth-Behrendt (S&D) asked the Commissioner Designate whether he agreed that the March 2013 deadline for the marketing ban for animal tested cosmetics should come into force without delays or derogations. Mr Borg clearly stated that should he be appointed he believes that the ban should come into place in March 2013.
Mr Borg’s position on this issue mirrors that of the ECEAE. Mr Borg also said that the passing of legislation in the EU is a “laborious process” because of the need for all Member States to agree. Therefore, it is “not fair to invent new ways to derogate from it.” The ECEAE agrees with Mr Borg’s additional comments that industry would not find alternative means of testing if the marketing ban is not implemented as “necessity is the mother of invention.”
If MEPs vote in favour of Commissioner Designate Mr Borg, it would ensure that “the ban will come into place in March 2013.” Mr Borg would want an impact assessment after the March 2013 marketing ban is implemented. The ECEAE welcomes his position as a step in the right direction to ensure that the EU keeps its pre-agreed deadline for the Cosmetics Directive.
The ECEAE has led the campaign across Europe to achieve an end to the use of animals to test beauty products. Following many years of high profile campaigning and lobbying it was successful in achieving an EU ban on the use of animals to test cosmetics and toiletries. However, cosmetic companies are still allowed to sell products within the EU that have been tested on animals in other parts of the world. An import and sales ban on animal tested products in the EU is due to come into effect in 2013. It has been widely anticipated that there may be exemptions to the ban which will allow animals to continue to suffer and die in cruel cosmetics tests for beauty products sold in the EU.
Last month, the ECEAE took its No Cruel Cosmetics campaign, to end the import and sale of animal tested cosmetics in the EU, to Brussels. A well-attended briefing was held at the European Parliament hosted by Chris Davies MEP. MEPs and EU officials had the opportunity to hear speeches on the key issues, including alternatives to animal cosmetics testing, from ECEAE representatives.
Our No Cruel Cosmetics petition which reached almost a quarter of a million signatures was also handed in to the EU petitions committee. The No Cruel Cosmetics petition has been signed by celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Morrissey, Chrissie Hynde and many politicians, cosmetic companies and citizens of Europe.
The Committees have 24 hours to make a decision on whether to appoint Mr Tonio Borg as Commissioner for the Health and Consumer Affairs. A report is then sent to the Conference of Committee Chairs and to the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament which will draw up a draft resolution to be voted in plenary.