European animal testing ban may be delayed

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1996:

LONDON––The Cosmetics Directive, a
European Community ban on animal testing of cosmetics
and toiletries, adopted by the EC ministers in 1993 for
scheduled phase-in starting in 1998, may be delayed until
2000, according to internal draft discussion documents
leaked to media, because alternative testing methods have
not yet been approved.
The Royal SPCA charged on September 23 that
the European Communities Validation of Alternative
Methods Centre has been unable to validate proposed nonanimal
tests due to underfunding.
British firms already committed to cruelty-free
policies are pushing to avoid the EC delay, which would
leave in effect current policies requiring animal testing of
products exported to other EC member nations. The campaign
suffered a September 27 setback, however, when the
British edition of Vogue magazine refused to publish an
anti-animal testing ad from the Co-operative Bank.

Publishing director Stephen Quinn reportedly called the ad,
depicting immobilized rabbits, “Tediously controversial.”
Private enterprise has apparently made much faster
progress in replacing animal tests than government. As yet
neither the EC nor any national government has any plans to
replace animal testing of pharmaceuticals, but in early
October the first pharmaceuticals testing firm to use no animals
opened for business at Royston, England. Pursuing
recommendations by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics,
Pharmagene Ltd. accepts donations of non-transplantable tissues
from deceased persons who will the use of their bodies
for transplants and scientific research. The remains are
stored in a tissue bank, for use in cell culture testing.
“We think we’re the first company in the world to
do all our work on human tissue,” founder Bob Coleman
told New Scientist. He stipulated that all body parts would
be kept in test tubes and microscopic slides. “We won’t
have arms and legs stored on meat hooks,” he assured interviewer
Andy Coghlan.
Nuffield Council member David Morton anticipates
that such tissue banks may eventually include
comatose persons in a vegetative state. “Many people
already leave their bodies to medical research,” Morton told
Sean O’Neill of The Daily Telegraph in April, “and these
people would give much more accurate information for
experiments than chimpanzees.”

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