> Report highlights shortcomings in preventing chemical animal tests
Report highlights shortcomings in preventing chemical animal tests
More must be done to ensure non-animal methods are used
Posted By Stephanie on 4th June 2021
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A new report from Europe’s agency responsible for chemicals, ECHA, released this week, includes consideration of what the agency has done to make sure non-animal testing methods are used for managing the safety of chemicals in Europe.
Whilst the Agency is supporting international activities to develop alternatives and produce helpful reports and guidance, it could do so much more to ensure animal testing is only ever used as a last resort. In particular, ECHA’s continued insistence on animal testing for cosmetic ingredients and failure to accept 75% of read across cases underlines a conservative, tick box approach that is leading to an increase in animal testing.
ECHA itself outlines a key shortcoming in the current regime that is preventing chemical companies from using data from similar substances to avoid animal testing.
ECHA says: “Data sharing only requires registrants of the same substance to share (vertebrate animal) data to avoid duplicate animal tests. Extending these data-sharing rules could lead to further avoidance of unnecessary testing. This is already a possibility under the Biocidal Products Regulation.”Dr Katy Taylor, Director of Science at Cruelty Free Europe, says: “We are pleased to see ECHA highlight the problem with the REACH legislation that is preventing wider use of read across to avoid animal testing. However, ECHA’s own attitude towards non-animal approaches could be so much better. “As the European Commission reviews REACH over these next two years it is vital that all efforts are made to improve the system so that animal testing remains only ever a last resort and more is done to actively phase it out altogether.”