EU Court Advisor's Interpretation Would 'Destroy' Animal-Test Ban – PETA
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
In a landmark case to clarify the scope of the EU's cosmetic animal-test ban, the European Court of Justice is expected to adopt an approach potentially with favorable implications for industry. It would deny market access to cosmetics that contain ingredients tested on animals to meet third-country or other EU regulations only when that test data is "relied on" to substantiate product safety in compliance with the Cosmetics Regulation.
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Firms cannot use safety data derived from third-country animal testing to substantiate product safety in accordance with the European Cosmetics Regulation, but such testing does not in itself constitute a violation of the EU’s animal-testing ban. It may be more challenging to compile required safety-assessment reports, but companies don’t necessarily have to choose between the EU and emerging markets such as China.
The EU's ban on animal-tested cosmetics and ingredients could be narrowly limited to tests performed to meet the European Cosmetics Regulation's data requirements – exempting testing undertaken to comply with third-country regulations or other EU laws – if the European Court of Justice sides with industry next year. Stakeholders expect the court's advocate general to render an opinion on the matter in March 2016.
The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments protests that “in practice, the animal tests bans would have virtually no application,” following ECHA’s clarification of REACH-related exceptions to Europe’s prohibition on animal testing for cosmetic ingredients. According to ECHA, the ban does not apply to testing required under REACH for “environmental endpoints, exposure of workers and non-cosmetic uses of substances.”