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29 April 2001 Issue
Animal-Tested Cosmetics Banned

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BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - The European Parliament voted [recently] to ban sales of all new cosmetic products tested on animals, including makeup, shampoos and shower gels. Pending approval from the 15 European Union member nations, the legislation would immediately prohibit cosmetics for which alternative testing exists. By January 2005, the ban also would apply to all new cosmetics using animal-tested ingredients, even if alternative tests have not been developed. "Those products should no longer be sold,'' said German socialist member Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, who wrote the bill. The ban also would apply to imported products. The 8,000 animal-tested cosmetic ingredients already on the market would not be affected. The 626-member European Union assembly meeting in Strasbourg, France, easily approved about 30 amendments to strengthen EU rules on cosmetics. The Parliament also passed an amendment to label animal-tested products rather than those using alternative methods such as clinical cell or bacterial testing. The European Parliament and the European Commission have been wrangling over the issue since they postponed a 1998 plan to ban animal-tested products because companies
lacked alternative methods. The only EU countries that ban cosmetic animal testing are Britain, Austria and the Netherlands. Most of Europe's cosmetic testing is done in France and Italy.

The European cosmetic industry, with annual sales around $39 billion, has opposed the ban, arguing that they still do not have many alternatives to animal testing. The legislation goes the 15 EU governments for consideration and return to the Parliament for a final vote.

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