EU Chemical Assessment Must Evolve Beyond ‘Tick-Box Animal Testing’ – Corporate-Nonprofit Collab
Seven years after the EU’s cosmetic animal testing ban went into full effect, leading beauty companies, chemical suppliers and animal welfare groups agree that European authorities’ administration of REACH is undermining the historic measure, inhibiting innovation and hindering societal progress.
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The European Chemicals Agency's Board of Appeal finds that REACH requires ingredient registrants to perform animal studies, even if their substances are used exclusively in cosmetic products. Historically opposed industry and animal welfare groups both may lose under the board’s decisions.
The proposed bill in the US Senate could be seen as slightly friendlier to the cosmetics industry when it comes to continued use of animal testing data in limited, exempted contexts, compared with similar state laws enacted of late. But the federal bill includes stiffer penalties, addresses “cruelty free” labeling, and seeks to spur FDA acceptance of alternative test methods, a key objective for stakeholders overall.
As of July 21, regulatory and legal authorities in the EU have clarified that cosmetic ingredients tested on animals to meet third-country requirements do not necessarily trigger the Cosmetic Regulation's animal-testing ban, and that animal testing on cosmetic ingredients may be needed under REACH for various specified reasons. A final important question may be left to the courts.