Guilt free beauty: India bans cosmetics that are tested on animals 


Why should animals pay the price: BNI stands with India’s decision of banning import of Cosmetics that are tested on Animals

India comes in the league of nations who discourage animal-tested Cosmetics

India's ban on animal tested cosmetics

India’s ban on animal tested cosmetics

This would come as a great relief for the animal lovers(and also animals) and also a cause of celebrations. India decided to go the cruelty free way by taking an initiative on cruelty free cosmetics. India’s decision to put a ban on import of all cosmetics that are tested on animals was received with great enthusiasm and has created a lot of buzz in the world of Indian cosmetics, make up and beauty.

All the cosmetics that are sold in India are placed under various categories in Schedule S of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and the manufacture, sale and import of cosmetics are regulated by various Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945. Rule 150-C requires manufacturers to comply with standards developed by Bureau of Indian Standards.

PETA is the only animal rights organization to have an official seat on the Bureau of Indian Standards Cosmetics Sectional Committee (PCD 19) which advises on various safety tests for cosmetic ingredients and products in accordance with Schedule S of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

BNI stands with PETA for animal rights

BNI stands with PETA for animal rights will put up efforts in association with PETA to create awareness to this initiative and law.

All standards are reviewed every five years. The cosmetics Indian Standard 4011 was put up for review in 2012. PETA used its seat on the committee to propose the removal of animal tests and to suggest the inclusion of non-animal testing methods and ultimately succeeded in both. This progress paved the way for the legislative bans that passed in 2014.

We actively participated in BIS meetings from 2012 to 2014 in order to submit scientific comments that were compiled with the help of scientists from PETA and its affiliates as well as the PETA International Science Consortium. And because of our efforts the Drugs Technical Advisory Board had advised Ministry of Health to amend the drugs and cosmetics rules to insert two new rules copied below

  • 148-C. prohibition of testing of cosmetics on animals.-No person shall use any animal for testing of cosmetics.
  • 135-B. Prohibition of import of cosmetics tested on animals.- No cosmetic that has been tested on animals after the commencement of the Drugs and Cosmetics (Fifth Amendment) Rules, 2014 shall be imported into the country

Companies are required to comply with the above laws in order to import and sell their cosmetics in India.

PETA has been in touch with the office of Drugs Control General of India who informed PETA on several occasions that the drug regulators from the state will ensure the above legal provisions are complied with before permitting license to import or sell cosmetics in India from the time of the publication of new rules.

I am copying the quote of DCGI from the minutes of 23rd Meeting of Cosmetics Sectional Committee, PCD 19 along with working group for revision of IS 4011 held on Friday, 28th June, 2013 at BIS HQ, New Delhi

 Dr. G. N. Singh emphasized that we need to move forward and take action to ban animal testing of cosmetics without compromising on consumer safety. He informed the house that in case of drugs also, they are finding the ways out to replace animal testing. The regulating authority is committed to support development of alternative methods”.

He also said that “When there is a need for safety evaluation of cosmetic product to demonstrate absence of oral toxicity and/or oral mucosal irritation, the manufacturers shall submit the safety data based on non-animal test methods to the concerned state licencing authorities which will take care of safety aspect of cosmetics till validated method is available.”

Also in the recent Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) meeting held on 18 August 2015 whose minutes can be found here, you can see on page 16, agenda no 9 says:

“i. Undertaking regarding products not tested on animals:

The Manufacturer either legal or actual/brand owner of the products/ Indian subsidiaries can submit a one-time self-declaration that the applied products have not been tested on animals on and after 12.11.2014 along with import registration dossiers to CDSCO. The acknowledgement copy for submission of this undertaking as received by the applicants from CDSCO can be produced at port offices in future for clearing their future consignments.”

Efforts of PETA which resulted in a ban on animal testing for cosmetics and their ingredients:

PETA India’s science policy adviser, Dr Chaitanya Koduri and his colleague Puja Mahajan

PETA India’s science policy adviser, Dr Chaitanya Koduri and his colleague Puja Mahajan with Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan


Apart from working with scientists of Bureau of Indian Standards, PETA also worked with Ministry of Health and drug regulators. PETA had met numerous times with the then Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan; the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), Dr GN Singh; the Secretary for the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Luv Varma; and the Additional Secretary for the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Dr Arun Kumar Panda, to request a ban on animal tests for cosmetics as well as one on the importation and sale of animal-tested cosmetics. Before Minister Vardhan came into power, PETA had made progress with the previous Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, as well as the former Secretary for the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Desi Raju.

PETA participated in numerous stakeholder meetings, including those organised by the MoHFW. During these meetings – in May, July and September 2014 – PETA interacted with drug regulators; scientists from the BIS, the Indian Pharmacological Society and the Society of Toxicology; and industry groups such as the Indian Beauty & Hygiene Association (IBHA), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Consumer Guidance Society of India, the All India Cosmetic Manufacturers Association and the All India Small Scale Cosmetic Manufacturers Association in order to persuade them to support the ban. The first meeting in May, which was the most important, was a roundtable discussion with toxicologists, pharmacologists and industry representatives. PETA was the only animal rights organisation invited to this meeting.

PETA also gathered support from various scientific organisations in India. In 2008, the Indian Council of Medical Research wrote to the MoHFW supporting PETA’s request asking for a ban on animal tests for cosmetics. In 2012, following request from PETA, the Mahatma Gandhi-Doerenkamp Center for Alternatives to Use of Animals in Life Science Education wrote to then–Health Minister Azad asking for a ban on animal tests for cosmetics and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine wrote to the DCGI and Secretary Varma asking for a ban on animal tests for cosmetics and in favour of a ban on the importation of animal-tested cosmetics. In 2012, the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body operating under the Ministry of Environment & Forests, wrote to then-Minister Azad in favour of a ban on animal tests for cosmetics, and in 2014, after hearing from PETA, he wrote to the then Minister Vardhan asking him to ban the importation of animal-tested cosmetics.

Multinational companies The Body Shop and LUSH as well as Indian companies Trumount Cosmoceuticals, Future Skin, Omved Lifestyle, Shahnaz Husain and others also wrote to the MoHFW in full support of a ban on animal tests for cosmetics after hearing from PETA.

PETA also worked with numerous influential politicians to end animal tests for cosmetics and to help implement a ban on the importation of animal-tested cosmetics including the current Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, who founded PFA, worked in numerous vital ways over the years to ensure that these bans would be passed. Others who urged the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) or the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (MCAFD) to consider PETA’s request for a ban on animal tests for cosmetics included Sonia Gandhi, Congress President; Lal Krishna Advani, senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); Santosh Chaudhary, former Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare; Kodikunnil Suresh, former Minister of State for Labour & Employment; Tariq Anwar, former Minister of State for Agriculture & Food Processing Industries; Abhijit Mukherjee, Member of Parliament from Jangipur constituency and son of President Pranab Mukherjee; Dr Mirza Mehboob, former Cabinet Minister of Health, Medical Education & Family Welfare for the government of Jammu and Kashmir; and Yashodhara Raje Scindia, former Minister for Tourism, Sports & Youth Welfare for the government of Madhya Pradesh.Those who helped specifically with the importation ban included Dr Shashi Tharoor, former Minister of State for Human Resource Development; Arvind Sawant, Member of Parliament from South Mumbai; Basavaraj Patil, senior BJP leader of Karnataka; and AV Swamy, Member of Parliament and social worker from Odisha.

PETA has held numerous demonstrations over the years in Delhi and other cities in order to push for the bans. They often included people protesting in bunny costumes.

Lot of celebrities also supported PETA in asking for a ban. In 2012, the cast and crew of Farah Khan’s film Joker, directed by Shirish Kunder and starring Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha and Chitrangda Singh, joined PETA in urging the government to ban animal tests for cosmetics. For the campaign, Singh posed on behalf of PETA and Joker with the alien characters from the film. The following celebrities signed a petition asking the MoHFW and the MCAFD to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics: Raveena Tandon-Thadani, Jacqueline Fernandez, Dia Mirza, R Madhavan, Rahul Khanna, Sunny Leone, Pooja Bhatt, Lara Dutta, Trisha Krishnan, Dino Morea, Esha Deol-Takhtani, Sarah-Jane Dias, Shweta Salve, Soniya Mehra, Suchitra Pillai, squash player Ritwik Bhattacharya and top models Acquin Pais, Alesia Raut, Anushka Manchanda, Binal Trivedi, Candice Pinto, Carol Gracias, Diandra Soares, Juhi Pande, Nethra Raghuraman, Pia Trivedi and Shonali Nagrani.

In 2014, actor Jacqueline Fernandez sent Minister Vardhan a letter and a bunny-shaped vegan cake with the words “Be Sweet to Bunnies – Ban Animal-Tested Products” written on it in tasty icing. Also that year, actor Tamannaah Bhatia posed with a rabbit to ask people to choose cruelty-free cosmetics. Pamela Anderson wrote to Minister Vardhan in favour of banning the importation of animal-tested cosmetics.

The following people took to Twitter in support of the campaign: Sonu Sood, Neha Dhupia, Amrita Rao, Ashmit Patel, Trisha Krishnan, R Madhavan, Natalia Villaveces, Priya Anand, Tamannaah Bhatia, Pamela Anderson, Esha Gupta, Sonakshi Sinha, Evelyn Sharma, Rahul Khanna, Anoushka Shankar, Poorna Jagannathan and Shashi Tharoor.

In 2012, PETA won the LUSH cosmetics company’s first-ever global Lush Prize  for our lobbying efforts to end animal tests for cosmetics. In 2013 and 2014, PETA was short-listed for an award in the lobbying category.



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