High street joins fight to stop EU forcing lipstick tests on animals Marks & Spencer, Boots and The Body Shop join MPs to try to stop a new EU law from forcing animal-tests for every lipstick, mascara and shampoo sold in Europe British high street giants Marks and Spencer, Boots and Body Shop have joined almost 100 MPs and over 20 other cosmetic retailers to back the BUAV’s campaign to stop the EU from bringing back cosmetics tests on animals in a new law on chemicals.
The coalition have signed up to a joint declaration as it launches a nation-wide advertising campaign to urge Britons to fight for their right to keep cosmetics cruelty-free.(see notes to editor).
Millions of animals could be made to suffer painful and inefficient tests if new EU legislation to regulate chemicals – known as the Regulation, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) - gets voted through in its current form in Brussels next month.
The UK stopped licensing cosmetic animal tests in 1998 due to broad public opposition but this new legislation could mean that companies will be forced to test cosmetics on animals regardless of what they or their customers want.
The BUAV is urging UK consumers to support its campaign by writing to their local MEPs to ask them to vote to prevent this new ‘mascara massacre’ from being passed into law.
MP Ann Widdecombe, who has recruited 95 cross-party MPs to sign-up to the campaign including former environment minister Elliot Morley and former Conservative minister Kenneth Clarke, said we must stop the EU ‘hijacking UK consumer choice to buy cruelty-free cosmetics.’
“Over 80 per cent of the British public have said they don’t agree with harming and killing animals so they can have a ‘new improved’ brand of lipstick or shampoo. Today, they can support that opinion by voting with their wallets and buying cruelty-free products. The EU is threatening to hijack that choice by effectively forcing cosmetics manufacturers to test what goes into their products on animals.
She added: “Any Briton who currently chooses to care should stand up and let the Government and European politicians know that they won’t tolerate them rubber-stamping a proposal that will cause such pointless pain and suffering to start anew in the 21st century.”
Labour MP Kerry McCarthy said: “This is grave news for ethical consumerism; the EU must amend their proposals now to ensure no animals face testing for cosmetics and consumers remain free to support cruelty-free companies.”
Lib Dem MP Annette Brooke said: “Testing cosmetics on animals belongs in the past, and we thought we’d seen the back of it. But unbelievably the European Union’s new proposals may be about to force companies to test what goes into their cosmetics on animals – even those manufacturers that have been safely cruelty-free for years.”
BUAV Campaigns manager Sean Gifford said: “The EU is on the brink of voting through the single biggest piece of animal-testing legislation in history, which could give the green light to the poisoning of up to 45 million animals in labs. The British public can help us stop this suffering by contacting their MEPs and asking them to keep animals out of REACH.
NOTES TO EDITOR
•The BUAV agrees with the intention of Reach to protect human health and the environment from toxic effects of chemicals, but wants to see companies required to use superior non-animal alternative testing methods, like cell and tissue cultures and complex computer models where safety data does not already exist.
• 25 British cosmetic companies and 94 MPs have signed up to the BUAV’s campaign petition which reads: “We, the undersigned, recognise public opposition to the testing of cosmetics on animals and support the European Union’s Cosmetics Directive which bans the use of animals for testing cosmetics products and ingredients from 2009. However, we are extremely concerned that the proposed new REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals) legislation currently going through the European political process undermines this ban and could lead to a return to the animal testing of cosmetics. Therefore, we urge MEPs and Member States to do everything in their power to make sure this does not happen, to amend the legislation where necessary and to keep cosmetics cruelty free.”
•The full list of company signatories are: Aromatherapy Trade Council, Beauty Without Cruelty, Body & Face St Cyrus Ltd, The Body Shop, Boots, Calder Valley Soap Co Ltd, The Co-op, The Essential Oil Company, Good Earth, The Hemp Company Ltd, Honesty Cosmetics, J&D Black (Hollytrees), Jason Natural Cosmetics, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Kingfisher Natural Toothpaste, Kobashi Essential Oils, Liz Earle Make-up International, Lush, Marks and Spencer, Moor Spa International Ltd, Natural by Nature Oils, Neal's Yard Remedies, Qinessence Aromatherapy, Suma, Red Star Soaps
•The full list of MPs are: Charlotte Atkins (Lab), Norman Baker (LD), Gordon Banks (Lab), Celia Barlow (Lab), Anne Begg, (Lab), John Bercow (Con), Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (Lab), Tom Brake (LD), Annette Brooke (LD), Lyn Brown (Lab), Richard Burden (Lab), Simon Burns (Con), Burt Lorely (LD), Sir John Butterfill (Con), Dr Vincent Cable (LD), Alistair Carmichael (LD), Martin Caton (Lab), Colin Challen (Lab), Clarke, Kenneth (Con), Harry Cohen (Lab), Michael Connarty (Lab), Rosie Cooper(Lab),Jim Cunningham, Claire Curtis-Thomas (Lab), Edward Davey (LD), Jim Dobbin (Lab/Co-op), Jim Dowd (Lab), Mark Durkan (SDLP), Bill Etherington,(Lab), Tim Farron (LD), Frank Field (Lab), Paul Flynn(Lab), Roger Gale (Con), Andrew George (LD), Dr Ian Gibson (Lab), Paul Goodman(Con), Nia Griffith (Lab), Gwynne Andrew (Lab), Mike Hancock (LD) David Heath (LD), Sharon Hodgson (Lab), Philip Hollobone (Con), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab), David Howarth (LD), Howarth, George Howarth (Lab), Joan Humble (Lab), Dr Brian Iddon (Lab), Stewart Jackson(Con), Brian Jenkins (Lab), Diana R Johnson (Lab), Lynne Jones (Lab), Martyn Jones, Piara S Khabra (Lab), Susan Kramer (LD), Mark Lazarowicz (Lab/Co-op), John Leech (LD), Edward Leigh (Con), David Lepper (Lab/Co-op), Mr Gordon Marsden (Lab), Kerry McCarthy (Lab), Sarah McCarthy-Fry (Lab) John McDonnell (Lab), Anne Milton (Con), Laura Moffatt (Lab), Julie Morgan (Lab), Elliot Morely (Lab), Chris Mullin (Lab), Mr Doug Naysmith )(Lab/Co-op), Edward O'Hara (Lab), Bill Olner (Lab), Sandra Osborne (Lab), Dr Nick Palmer (Lab), Linda Riordan(Lab/Co-op), Alex Salmond (SNP), Martin Salter (Lab), Mohammad Sarwar (Lab), Alan Simpson (Lab), Angela C Smith (Lab), Dr Bob Spink (Con), Ian Stewart (Lab), Jo Swinson (LD), Paddy Tipping (Lab), Dr Rudi Vis (Lab), Lynda Waltho (Lab), Angela Watkinson (Con), Ann Widdecombe (Con), Mark Williams (LD), Roger Williams (LD), Sammy Wilson (DU), Mr Anthony Wright (Lab), Dr Tony Wright (Lab), Derek Wyatt (Lab)