Written by Erika-G
Following an intense campaign by PETA India and work by MP Maneka Gandhi, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr GN Singh announced that testing cosmetics and their ingredients on animals will not be permitted in India. The landmark announcement was made during the Bureau of Indian Standards PCD 19 Cosmetics Sectional Committee meeting, on which PETA India's science policy advisor, Dr Chaitanya Koduri, has an official seat. Earlier this week, Dr Koduri had held a private meeting with Dr Singh urging him to implement this ban.
PETA India's campaign received support from high places. Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi recently urged the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to consider PETA India's request for a ban on the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients through the National Advisory Council Office, while senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lal Krishna Advani had sought the same through his office. Santosh Chowdhury, the newly appointed Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare; Dr Mirza Mehboob, former Cabinet Minister of Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare for the government of Jammu and Kashmir; and Yashodhara Raje Scindia, former Minister for Tourism, Sports and Youth Welfare for the government of Madhya Pradesh had all sent strong appeals to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in favour of a total ban on the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals. Mehboob is also a medical practitioner who did his MBBS at Srinagar Medical College in Jammu and Kashmir. MP Maneka Gandhi has been working closely with PETA India's science policy advisor, Dr Chaitanya Koduri, to push for this ban.
Multinational companies The
Body Shop and LUSH as well
as Indian companies Trumount Cosmoceuticals, Future Skin, Omved Lifestyle and Shahnaz Husain and others had also written to the
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in full support of a ban after hearing
from PETA. The Washington DC-based Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine, and officials from the Indian Council of Medical
Research, the Mahatma Gandhi–Doerenkamp
Center for Alternatives to Use of Animals in Life Science Education and the
Animal Welfare Board of India,
a statutory advisory body, had also all expressed support for the ban.
In 2012, the cast and crew of Farah Khan's Joker,
directed by Shirish Kunder and starring Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha and
Chitrangda Singh, had joined PETA in urging the government to ban cosmetic
testing on animals. Chitrangda posed on behalf of PETA and Joker with the
aliens from the film for the campaign. The ad was shot by ace photographer Atul
DCGI's announcement comes in the wake of the European Union's and Israel's bans on the testing of cosmetics products and their ingredients on animals, which includes a ban on sales of animal-tested cosmetics, regardless of where those tests were conducted. Israel has also banned the testing of household products and their ingredients on animals as well as the sale of such products if they have been tested on animals. Household products include cleaners and detergents. PETA India is also campaigning for an end to the testing of household products and their ingredients on animals in India.
Please note, however, that at present, cosmetics and personal-care products tested on animals can still be sold in India. Please do check PETA's list of companies that do not test on animals before you go shopping.
Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on this campaign, from celebrities, politicians and compassionate businesses who lent their support to the many PETA India supporters who raised their voices and donated time and money to make this achievement possible. Celebrations are in order all around!
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