On Jan 13 2014, The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced the draft amendment to the “Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945” which proposes to formalize the nationwide ban on animal testing in India’s principal cosmetic regulation. Public consultation will be accepted in forty-five days from the date of publication of this draft.
The draft amendment on Drugs and Cosmetics Rules stipulated that the name of the Rules shall be revised into Drugs and Cosmetics (First Amendment) Rules, 2014, and right after the existing rule 148-B a new rule will be added, namely, 148-C which prohibits the testing of cosmetics on animals.
India's cosmetics safety testing is a two-pronged method. Last summer, India’s Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) the institution prescribed by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act in directing safety test for cosmetics excluded animal testing by amending IS4011:1997. (See Chemlinked News Jul 8 2013) The ground-breaking move has already marked India as the first South Asian country to halt animal testing of cosmetics, while it generated inconsistency with the overarching Drugs and Cosmetics Act and its rules.
The recent notification will see the unity of national cosmetics regulations associated to animal testing. As Humane Society International India director N.G. Jayasimha said, “to ensure that this test ban is enshrined within the existing regulatory framework, it is vital we also amend the Drug and Cosmetics Rules.”
The message was welcomed by different quarters as a great advance for further suspension of animal testing in India’s cosmetics industry. However, there are still some concerns as the ban only covers domestic cosmetic testing. “Companies are still free to outsource their animal testing to other countries and then import their newly animal-tested cosmetics and ingredients back into India. This double standard must stop” said Jayasimha. A ban of import and sales in India, like those EU and Israel have already implemented will truly demonstrates India’s commitment to cruelty free.
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