|/ Mobilise! / Issue 45 (December 1997) / Page 6||Email page link | Print this page|
|UK Animal Test Ban 'Cosmetic'|
The British Government announced an immediate ban on testing cosmetic products on animals in November. However this will only have the result of about 250 fewer animals being used each year (out of 2.7 million in the UK), as the individual ingredients will continue to be tested on animals. The three research companies that were still vivisecting for cosmetic products agreed voluntarily to relinquish their licences.
Even groups such as Animal Aid (who were founded on sound abolitionist principles but were watered down soon after their founder retired) described the move as "a cosmetic decision in every sense of the term".
Meanwhile Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, said "this is a major victory for The Body Shop". It is to be noted that The Body Shop despite its slogans does not seek the abolition of vivisection - only an end to cosmetic testing. They fund the work of the (misnamed) Dr Hadwen Trust, which seeks alternatives to vivisection. Their "campaign partners" include SAFE and ANZFAS. A genuine end to vivisection would destroy The Body Shop's commercial advantage.
Limiting the debate to cosmetics testing and ethical arguments falls right into the vivisectors' trap. Even Colin Blakemore (infamous for sewing up the eyes of kittens) called for a ban on cosmetic testing on animals using this argument: "The public and the Government have to decide whether having a new anti-dandruff shampoo is such a benefit that it outweighs the death of some rabbits". Blakemore has been persistently attacked by anti-vivisectionists due to his support of vivisection. By limiting the debate to the moral and ethical 'a cat/rabbit or your baby' decision, the vivisectors can keep the arguments about what is and isn't justified going forever without being subject to scrutiny as to the accuracy of their tests.
|Tussock Moth Spray Secret|
Auckland suburbs that were repeatedly sprayed with BTK to kill tussock moth have seen an increase in reports of premature births and miscarriages. The health officials investigating the reports signed secrecy deals to stop them revealing what was in the spray. Dr Virginia Hope said "I can't speak about the contents of the spray because I have signed an agreement with the company that I wouldn't".
In July 1996 the Ministry of Forestry said in an environmental impact assessment that the inert ingredients of the spray were all on the United States Environmental Protection Agencies lists three or four. "List four contains substances which are 'generally recognised as safe', and list three contains substances for which there is insufficient information to classify their safety," the impact report said.
The spray was made by Abbott Laboratories in Chicago, USA. In June 1992 Abbott Laboratories recalled its anti-infection drug Omniflox following three deaths and 50 serious reactions linked to the drug.
The Soil and Health Association claimed that the spray contained methyl paraben, which the Association said had been implicated as a cause of birth in overseas studies.
|Sheep-Dip Warning After Australian Shearers Become Ill|
The Australian Supreme Court has awarded three Australian shearers A$600,000 after they became ill following shearing newly-dipped sheep. The men suffered headaches, diarrhoea, vomiting, burning and itchy skin rashes, sores, regurgitated bile, a bitter taste in the mouth, gasping and dry retching. The sheep dip contained the chemical diazinon, which is used in some sheep dips and cat and dog flea collars in New Zealand. NuFarm (members of AGCARM - original publishers of ARSL) said their sheep dips containing diazinon were clearly labelled.
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