For Immediate Release:
26 August 2013
Offices of Sonia Gandhi and LK Advani; Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee; Ministers of State Santosh Chowdhury, Kodikunnil Suresh and Tariq Anwar; and MPs Maneka Gandhi, Dr Mirza Mehboob, Yashodhara Raje Scindia Are Among Those That Sent Appeals After Hearing From PETA
Delhi – PETA India has confirmed that the Soaps and Other Surface Active Agents Committee (CHD 25) of the Chemical Division of the Bureau of Indian Standards – on which PETA India Science Policy Adviser Dr Chaitanya Koduri has an official seat – recently proposed to amend the test requirements for household products (such as cleaners and detergents) by getting rid of the last remaining animal test. The committee suggests replacing a test on guinea pigs, used to determine the skin sensitization potential of chemicals, with a non-animal testing method called the Human Repeat Insult Patch Test. It also proposed that the manufacturers of novel ingredients submit safety data using non-animal testing methods. Members of the committee have now been asked to submit their comments. The move comes after the Drugs Controller General of India, Dr GN Singh, announced that testing cosmetics and their ingredients on animals will not be permitted in India following an intense PETA campaign and efforts by MP Maneka Gandhi.
PETA India’s campaign to ban household product tests on animals has received support from high places. Maneka Gandhi has been working closely with Dr Koduri to push for the ban. Appeals on PETA’s behalf were sent to the Ministers of Health and Family Welfare or Consumers Affairs by the offices of Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi; the senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Lal Krishna Advani; Santosh Chowdhury, the newly appointed Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare; Kodikunnil Suresh, Minister of State for Labour and Employment; Tariq Anwar, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries; Abhijit Mukherjee, Member of Parliament from the Jangipur constituency and son of President Pranab Mukherjee; Dr Mirza Mehboob, former Cabinet Minister of Health, Medical Education.
Family Welfare for the government of Jammu and Kashmir; Yashodhara Raje Scindia, former Minister for Tourism, Sports and Youth Welfare for the government of Madhya Pradesh; and Maneka Gandhi.
Officials from the Mahatma Gandhi–Doerenkamp Centre for Alternatives to Use of Animals in Life Science Education and the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory advisory body, have also expressed support for a ban on household-product tests on animals.
The Bureau of Indian Standards’ proposal comes in the wake of Israel’s bans on the testing of cosmetics, household products and their ingredients on animals, which includes a ban on sales of animal-tested products regardless of where those tests were conducted. In addition, the Home Secretary of the UK government proposed a ban on household-product testing in 2011, and the UK has announced that it is consulting with companies, trade bodies and other interested parties to confirm a working proposal.
“Animal tests are cruel and unreliable. Non-animal testing methods are modern, humane and relevant to humans”, Dr Koduri says. “This compliance with international standards will also improve trade avenues for the country and save animals’ lives. PETA is now also urging the government to implement a ban on the sale and marketing of cosmetics and household products if they have been tested on animals outside India.”
More than 1,300 companies around the world have banned all animal tests in favour of effective, modern non-animal tests, but many still choose to subject animals to painful tests in which substances are dripped into their eyes, smeared onto their abraded skin, sprayed in their faces or forced down their throats. Because of the vast physiological differences between humans and the animals used in these tests, the results are often misleading.
Copies of the documents showing the officials’ support are available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.