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India should embrace modern science to end animal testing for cosmetics: Panda

New Delhi , Thu, 14 Mar 2013 ANI

New Delhi, Mar.14 (ANI-Business Wire India):Member of Parliament Baijayant "Jay" Panda has called on the government to end animal testing for cosmetics in India, giving a boost to a campaign that is spreading around the world.

Panda, an elected representative from Kendrapara, Odisha, wrote letters to the Ministers of Health and Family Welfare, Environment and Forests, and Consumer Affairs, supporting Humane Society International/India's call to end to cosmetic testing on animals as soon as possible.

Often counted amongst the new breed of politicians redefining Indian politics, Panda urged the ministries to replace animal testing with modern alternative methods and also rely on established cosmetics ingredients from many countries around the world, eliminating the need for tests here.

"With the European Union and Israel having banned both animal testing for cosmetics within their borders as well as the sale of such cosmetics if animal-tested elsewhere, India is in an advantageous position to emulate their compassionate standards whilst at the same time set an example for other developed nations to follow," said Panda.

"When there is technology and science available to assess human safety more accurately than with animal tests, and many thousands of cosmetics ingredients available to companies to make new products, I can see no excuse for why India should be left behind in eliminating animal suffering and the application and promotion of these modern cruelty-free methods," he added.

More than 40 non-animal tests have been validated for use. Modern alternatives can offer results that are more relevant to people, often more cheaply and efficiently. For example, there are a number of skin tests available that use human reconstructed skin, such as EpiDerm, as well as the 3T3 neutral red uptake test for sunlight-induced "phototoxicity," and the Bovine Cornea Opacity and Permeability test for eye corrosion.

"Support from visionaries such as Mr. Panda gives us hope for the thousands of animals who suffer every single day of their lives behind the closed doors of India's cosmetics laboratories," said Alokparna Sengupta, HSI/India's Be Cruelty-Free campaign manager. "We feel confident that India's Government is coming to appreciate that humane science is also better science - better for animals who will be spared suffering, better for consumers who will have safer products, better for companies who will have more confidence in their test results, and better for India's science base as it embraces modern methods."

Panda's support for HSI/India's campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics comes amid celebration in the EU for its ban on sales of newly animal-tested cosmetics, which came into force 11 March. Animal testing for cosmetics within Europe has been banned since 2009.

HSI's Be Cruelty-Free campaign combines consumer campaigning and legislative advocacy with corporate and scientific outreach. HSI and its partners launched Be Cruelty-Free in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, India and New Zealand. HSI partner The Humane Society of the United States spearheads the campaign in the United States.

To show your support for an end to animal testing for cosmetics in India and around the world, sign a Be Cruelty-Free pledge today or just give a missed call to 080-4931-1223.

Humane Society International/India and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organisations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programmes. (ANI-Business wire India)

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