§ Mr. Nigel Griffiths
[holding answer 4 November 1997]: The only animal testing issues for which my Department is responsible arise from regulations governing the supply of cosmetic products. This legislation, the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 1996, requires that where claims are made about the animal testing status of cosmetic products they should state clearly whether the tests carried out involved the product itself or its ingredients.
The Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC), which the Regulations implement, is unsatisfactory in its treatment of animal testing issues. In particular, the ban on using ingredients which have been tested on animals (currently deferred until 30 June 2000) does not in any case apply to finished products which may have been tested on animals. I intend to press the Commission to bring forward proposals to amend the Directive and would expect other related issues, such as compulsory labelling of animal testing, to be raised by animal welfare groups at the same time. I shall, of course, consult the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and other interested parties.