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431-00026 (Animals)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

PETITION TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

We, the undersigned residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:

THAT animal testing is unnecessary to prove the safety of cosmetic products and alternative safety tests tend to be faster, more accurate and cheaper to perform than tests conducted using animals;

WHEREAS a ban on cosmetic animal testing would not impact current cosmetic products for sale in Canada;

WHEREAS the European Union (EU), one of the largest cosmetic markets in the world, banned cosmetic animal testing in 2013, and their cosmetic industry continues to grow;

WHEREAS with the completion of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), it makes sense to harmonize cosmetic safety regulations with the EU to encourage trade;

WHEREAS numerous countries have already successfully made the switch to using alternative safety tests, including: India, Turkey, Israel, Guatemala, Norway, Iceland, Serbia, New Zealand and Switzerland;

WHEREAS Canadians overwhelmingly support a ban on cosmetic animal testing, with over half a million residents signing a petition calling for a global ban;

THEREFORE, your petitioners call upon the House of Commons to support Bill S-214 and ban the sale and/or manufacture of animal tested cosmetics and their ingredients in Canada moving forward.

Response by the Minister of Health

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Darren Fisher

The Government recognizes that Canadians remain concerned about the well-being of animals and the potential harm caused by testing cosmetic products or their ingredients on animals. As you indicated, Senate Public Bill S-214 – An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (cruelty-free cosmetics), sought to ban the testing of cosmetic products or their ingredients on animals in Canada and the sale of any cosmetic product or ingredient in a cosmetic product that has been tested on animals. On June 19th 2018, Bill S-214 was read for a third time in the Senate and passed. Debate on the Bill in the House of Commons began on June 3rd 2019. The Government supported Bill S-214 with proposed amendments that sought to align the legislation with the approach taken by the European Union. With the dissolution of the 42nd Parliament, Bill S-214 died on the Order Paper in September 2019.

Health Canada does not require animal testing for cosmetics and supports the objective of eliminating animal testing for cosmetics. Health Canada is committed to the responsible and ethical use of animals in research and supports the development and use of alternatives to animal testing through its participation on national and international scientific committees. The Department works with its international counterparts from the International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR) to promote alternatives to animal testing, and to expedite their international acceptance through participation in the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM) framework and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development‘s Test Guidelines Program. Departmental officials are also engaged with the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM) at the University of Windsor.

The importance of Health Canada’s international work to promote alternative test methods is reinforced by the import-oriented nature of the cosmetics market; the majority of cosmetics available in the Canadian marketplace are not manufactured or developed in Canada. Moreover, it is important to underscore that in the contemporary context, imported cosmetics are not likely to have been tested on animals. This is because animal testing for the purpose of demonstrating cosmetic safety has been in significant decline worldwide as alternative test methods have been developed, validated, and accepted. For example, as early as 2009 it was estimated that 99% of cosmetic safety assessments in the European Union and the United States did not involve animal testing.

As you indicated, the European Union currently bans testing on animals specifically for meeting the requirements of their Cosmetics Regulation. That being said, animal testing data can still be used to support the safety of a cosmetic sold in the EU if performed in order to meet the requirements of other non-cosmetic regulations.

Presented to the House of Commons
Sean Casey (Charlottetown)
December 12, 2019 (Petition No. 431-00026)
Government response tabled
January 22, 2020
Photo - Sean Casey
Charlottetown
Liberal Caucus
Prince Edward Island

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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