Environment Committee: no postponement of animal testing ban on cosmetics (motion for resolution adopted unanimously)

September 12, 2002

Brussels, 11 Sep 2002

Plans by the European Commission to postpone the introduction of a ban on the marketing of cosmetics ingredients tested on animals after 1 July 2002 came under heavy fire on Wednesday morning in the Environment Committee.

The committee unanimously adopted a motion for a resolution demanding that the Commission withdraw this decision immediately. Rapporteur Dagmar Roth-BEHRENDT (PES, D) argued that the Commission did not have any power to postpone the date of entry into force. Members agreed that this was an extremely serious matter and demanded that it be added to the agenda for the September II plenary session in Strasbourg.

Commissioner Erkki LIIKANEN had informed Parliament that the decision had been taken in view of the fact that a significant number of alternative methods to animal testing were still lacking. The Commission also wanted to provide adequate protection for economic operators who must ensure that the products they put on the markets are safe.

Mrs Roth-Behrendt vehemently criticised the Commission for seeking to arrogate to itself this new power to postpone the implementation date. The committee took the view that such a move by the Commission was impossible: a postponement of the marketing ban would be retroactive since the ban had already entered into force and constituted obligations upon the Member States.

MEPs now reserve their right to defend their prerogatives before the Court of Justice.

It was also generally felt that the Commission decision might endanger the conciliation procedure on the delicate issue of a ban on cosmetics ingredients tested on animals, due to be formally opened on 3 October 2002.

11.09.2002 Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection       In the chair: Caroline JACKSON (EPP-ED, UK)

Press enquiries:Ton Huyssoon - tel. (32-2) 28 42408e-mail: envi-press@europarl.eu.int

European Parliament News Report 2002-09-11

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