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The Cosmetics Regulation ban on animal testing
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The cosmetics industry is committed to the search for alternatives to the use of animals. Industry’s efforts are based upon five key principles:
The cosmetics industry has a long-standing commitment to the replacement of animal testing and plays a leading role in the development of alternatives by dedicating funding, time, resources and scientific expertise to this area of research.
The industry is a global pioneer in research into alternative methods that do not use animals and is proud of its investment and success in developing alternatives to ensure human safety.
Significant scientific advancements have already been made and the cosmetic industry’s efforts have so far led to more than 20 alternative test methods being developed, validated and adopted by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). These are available to all industries to be used in the place of animal tests. Research into alternatives is by no means complete and further efforts are focused on developing alternatives to replace the more complex “long-term” tests.
In addition to long-term funding of research into alternatives, member companies of the European cosmetics industry trade association, Cosmetics Europe, dedicated an additional 25 million Euros to a research programme for developing alternative approaches for systemic toxicity testing. The European Commission matched this amount, taking the total sum of this joint investment to 50 million Euros.
This investment led to the launch, in March 2011, of a programme of research called SEURAT-1. This stands for “Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal Testing”, which is the ultimate long-term target of the initiative.
Find out more about the industry’s achievements and future research plans, here.
The cosmetics industry has been researching alternatives for over 20 years. To co-ordinate industry’s efforts a Steering Committee on Alternatives to Animal Testing (SCAAT) was set up in 1992.
As well as collaboration between cosmetic companies, and substantial funding, alliance between industry sectors is essential to the effective development of alternatives. In 2005, the European Partnership for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EPAA) was launched to promote collaboration between the European Commission and major companies from several industry sectors. The cosmetics industry plays a leading role in the EPAA.
The cosmetics industry is not the only industry sector to benefit from the development of alternatives. Scientists from other industry sectors such as the pharmaceutical, chemical and food industries are all legally obliged to use non-animal alternative methods where they exist.
To promote the use of non-animal alternatives internationally, the cosmetics industry also works closely with its partners in other world markets such as the United States, Canada and Japan and has hosted visits by the Chinese authority SFDA.
Find out more about the cosmetics industry’s collaborating partners here.
The cosmetics industry has been working towards the elimination of animal testing for cosmetics for a long time and is co-operating fully in the successful implementation of the EU law towards a common-goal of ensuring safety without teting on animals.
The 2013 milestone, although passed, still poses major scientific challenges and the industry will continue to work closely with its key partners to address these.
The cosmetics industry is dedicated to taking part in the huge scientific challenge of developing alternative methods and is confident that, in time, research efforts will allow for continued innovation and safety assurance of cosmetic products, without the need for animal testing.
Where can I find out more?
For information on the progress of replacement of animal testing in China, see the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Blog Post "First non-animal test method accepted by China".
For more information about replacing animals in experimental research visit the FRAME (Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) website.
Read “Working together to replace animal testing” published by Cosmetics Europe, the European cosmetic trade association in 2009.
Visit the Cosmetics Europe website for more information on the marketing ban and on alternatives.