|Author (Person)||Frost, Laurence|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.8, No.22, 6.6.02, p2|
MEPs are heading for a showdown with EU governments over plans to reduce the thousands of animals killed in tests aimed at proving that new cosmetics are safe.
The European Parliament is set to approve bans on animal experiments for cosmetics and on the sale of animal-tested products, when it votes next week on planned changes to EU cosmetics laws.
The proposal tabled by MEP Dagmar Roth-Behrendt goes further than the version approved by ministers, which would ban animal tests in the EU but not the sale of products tested elsewhere.
The German Socialist is confident her report will be accepted, after the environment committee voted overwhelmingly to endorse it last month, with no votes against.
'I'm expecting a revolution,' Roth-Behrendt said. 'For the first time ever the Parliament will vote with a clear majority for a sales ban.'
Approval of a ban by would almost certainly lead to conciliatory talks aimed at forging a compromise between governments and MEPs.
But cosmetics and toiletries manufacturers are lobbying hard for some easing of the restrictions, particularly on so-called 'systemic' tests to identify possible cancer-causing or toxic properties, where they say there is no alternative to using animals.
'These tests are fundamental to human life,' said Charles Laroche, a vice-president of Unilever Europe.
'It's impossible to even consider a way to simulate them in vitro.'
Roth-Behrendt has agreed to back a compromise amendment tabled by Spanish Spanish conservative Cristina Garcia-Orcoyen to allow some important animal tests to continue temporarily after the ban, which takes effect after five years.
But she warned there would be no further compromises when she heads negotiations with ministers.
'That's as far as I am prepared to go,' Garcia-Orcoyen said.
The European Parliament is set to approve bans on animal experiments for cosmetics and on the sale of animal-tested products. But cosmetics and toiletries manufacturers are lobbying for some easing of the restrictions.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry|