STC Number - 17

Cosmetics and BSE

Maintained by: European Union
Raised by: Australia
Supported by: Brazil; Chile; United States of America
First date raised: March 1997 G/SPS/R/7, paras. 61-62
Dates subsequently raised: July 1997 (G/SPS/R/8, paras. 22-24)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/SPS/GEN/20, G/SPS/N/EEC/43
Products covered: 33 Essential oils and resinoids; perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Human health; Zoonoses
Status: Resolved
Date reported as resolved: 16/10/2013

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

Australia expressed concern regarding an EC measure specifying that cosmetics containing certain bovine, ovine and caprine tissues etc. should not be placed on the market. This directive did not recognize the animal health status of supplying countries. The European Communities stressed that since BSE surveillance was still under development and since detection was difficult, there was considerable uncertainty surrounding the global prevalence of BSE. All comments received by the deadline would be taken into account, and the regulation would enter into force on 1 July 1997. In July 1997, the United States stressed that the measure would reduce or eliminate US exports of tallow derivatives, soaps and cosmetics. The European Communities clarified that in light of WHO recommendations, measures had to be taken to reduce the risk of transmission of TSEs to humans through the food or feed chain, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics. Regarding BSE-freedom, the European Communities was not prepared to recognize any country as BSE-free, taking into account the difficulties of certifying such a status.