EU legislation does not prohibit the testing of tobacco products on animals.
This was the gist of an answer given by the European Commission to a number of questions posed by Polish MEP Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa.
In introducing his questions, Wałęsa said that while the testing of cosmetic products on animals and the importation of such products into the EU had been largely regulated, the testing of tobacco products on animals, in particular on rats, monkeys or dogs, remained a gray area.
Although tests that involved exposing animals to tobacco smoke for many years under atrocious conditions were prohibited in the EU, he said, there were no such restrictions on tobacco products imported into the EU “by the well-known manufacturers which carry out these tests.”
1. How does the Commission intend to promote EU practices outside its borders in such a way as to influence the actions of tobacco groups and producers?
2. Does the Commission intend to block imports of tobacco products tested on animals?
3. How can the Commission argue in favor of maintaining the European Union’s cooperation with tobacco companies when the above proves them to be indifferent to the fate of animals?
But the MEP was mistaken in believing that the EU protected animals from such tests, even within its own territory.
The Commission answered:
“The EU legislation does not include a prohibition for testing tobacco products with animals. However, Directive 2010/63/EU, that took full effect on 1 January 2013, provides a legal framework to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals used for scientific purposes in the EU.
“At this stage the Commission has not taken any specific action against imported tobacco products in this respect, nor are there any immediate plans to do so.
“Article 5(3) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) obliges the EU and its Member States to protect their public health policies from any commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry.”
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