For Immediate Release:
28 June 2013
Sonia Gandhi and LK Advani and MPs Maneka Gandhi, Santosh Chowdhury, Dr Mirza Mehboob, Yashodhara Raje Scindia Among Those Who Had Sent Appeals to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare After Hearing From PETA
Delhi – Today, following an intense campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and work by MP Maneka Gandhi, the Drug Controller General of India, Dr GN Singh, announced that testing cosmetics and their ingredients on animals will not be permitted in India. The landmark announcement was made during today’s Bureau of Indian Standards PCD 19 Cosmetics Sectional Committee meeting, on which PETA India Science Policy Adviser Dr Chaitanya Koduri has a seat. Earlier this week, Dr Koduri had held a private meeting with Dr Singh urging him to implement the ban.
PETA India’s campaign received support from high places. Maneka Gandhi has been working closely Dr Koduri to push for the ban. Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi recently urged the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to consider PETA India’s request for a ban through the National Advisory Council, while senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party Lal Krishna Advani had sought the same through his office. Santosh Chowdhury, the newly appointed Minister of State for Health and 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 and Family Welfare in favour of a ban. Dr Mehboob is also a medical practitioner who completed his MBBS at Srinagar Medical College in Jammu and Kashmir.
Multinational companies The Body Shop and LUSH as well as Indian companies such as Omved Lifestyle, Shahnaz Husain, Trumount Cosmoceuticals and Future Skin 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.
The Drug Controller General of India’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.
“The Drug Controller General of India’s announcement that testing cosmetics and their ingredients on animals will never be allowed in India again is a victory for animals and science. 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. Now PETA urges the government to implement a similar ban on the testing of household products such as cleaners on animals in India.”
In February, after hearing from PETA and Maneka Gandhi, Dr Singh put the two animal tests listed in the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for cosmetics on hold to allow submissions of non-animal testing methods. And in June, it was proposed in a BIS committee meeting that a similar hold be put on animal tests currently listed in the BIS for household-product testing.
More than 1,200 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.