France ‘key’ to cosmetics test ban

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Series Details Vol.8, No.23, 13.6.02, p1
Publication Date 13/06/2002
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Date: 13/06/02

By Laurence Frost

FRANCE will be the key to a ban on cosmetics tested on animals, according to the MEP whose draft measures were overwhelmingly endorsed by the Parliament on Tuesday.

German Socialist Dagmar Roth-Behrendt was speaking after MEPs voted 474-43 to reinforce a clamp-down on animal testing already agreed by ministers, by also outlawing the sale of cosmetics tested on animals outside the EU.

But the seventh amendment of the cosmetics directive is almost certainly set for tough negotiations between governments, which fell short of backing a sales ban last year.

'The member state that will be the most difficult is France,' said Roth-Behrendt. 'Its companies are listening more to their scientists than to their marketing people, who would tell them that there is demand for cosmetics that haven't been tested on animals.'

The UK - also against a sales ban - is under heavy pressure as well to compromise further.

If talks under the EU's conciliation procedure fail, it will trigger an immediate sales ban agreed under earlier legislation which had been due to come into force this month.

By contrast, the Parliament's ban would come into force only after a five-year transition period and allows a further five-year extension to phase out three key toxicity tests.

Animal welfare activists say around 30,000 animals are killed in cosmetics tests every year in the EU.

French company L'Oréal, the world's largest producer of cosmetics, declined to comment on the vote or the proposal.

Report on the progress of draft measures to ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.

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