26 Feb 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
New Delhi: The Indian branch of Humane Society International (HSI/India) has praised the Drug Controller General of India's (DCGI) efforts to fast-track deletion of the final two animal tests from India's cosmetics safety standard.
The directive was issued by the DCGI during an emergency meeting of the Bureau of Indian Standards' PCD19 Cosmetic Sectional Committee, to which HSI/India was a special invitee, and marks the beginning of the end of acute oral toxicity (lethal poisoning) and oral mucosal irritation animal testing for cosmetic purposes in India.
Mr Alokparna Sengupta, 'Be Cruelty-Free' campaign manager, HSI India, said that, "Humane Society International/India applauds the foresight and compassion of Drug Controller General Dr G N Singh's direction in this progressive move. It's unthinkable that in this day and age, animals are still choking on cosmetic chemicals in decades-old poisoning tests while companies choke on their own inertia in switching to a cruelty-free business model."
From now on, companies in India wishing to test cosmetic products or ingredients for these specific effects will have to submit a non-animal testing proposal to the DCGI for approval. Eventually, it is expected that the Indian cosmetic standard IS4011 will be amended to reflect the changes as directed by DCGI. The BIS has the responsibility of setting up safety standards for cosmetics by the Central Drug Standards Control Organisation, through the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1945.
HSI's Be Cruelty-Free campaign, the largest-ever global effort to end animal testing for cosmetics, has worked with various legislative assemblies and members of Parliament in India, who have written to the CDSCO and BIS in support, asking for an end to cosmetics testing on animals.