India is all set to impose a ban on the import of cosmetics that have been tested on animals citing the “cruelty” involved in the process of testing the cosmectics on animals.
The Union health ministry has framed draft rules to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 to impose the ban. A new clause, 135-B, will be inserted into Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 to enable the government impose the ban.
During animal testing for cosmetics, harmful chemicals are dripped into their eyes, placed on their skin and at times even forced down their throats.
After the amendment, any cosmetic products tested on animals will face action as per the provisions of both, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and the Animal Cruelty Act. Violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act involves three to 10 years of imprisonment or a fine of Rs 500 to Rs 10,000 or both.
The amendment to the law is expected to be enforced this month and will include penal provisions for those violating it. The decision to change the law was taken after the Drugs Technical Advisory Board, the government’s chief advisory body on drugs, recommended this step to the government earlier this year.
India recently banned testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals within the country after the cosmetics sectional committee of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) came up with revised standards for this purpose.
The decision is in line with that of the European Union which banned animal-testing and the sale of animal-tested cosmetics regardless of where those tests had been conducted.
Both Congress president Sonia Gandhi and animal rights campaigner and BJP MP Maneka Gandhi have, in the past, raised the issue of animal-testing of cosmetics.
The Peta India too has been campaigning for an end to animal-testing in the country for household products and their ingredients.