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Alternatives to animal testing: ECHA launches multi-language guide

By Lucy Whitehouse + , 30-Sep-2016

Animal testing: ECHA launches alternatives guide

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has launched guides to alternatives to animal testing and the REACH regulation, available to download in 23 languages.

The trade body describes the documents as “practical guides for SME managers and on how to use alternatives to animal testing”, and the launch comes in the wake of high profile issues around animal testing for cosmetics being in the news recently in Europe.

The guides look to help smaller business owners understand the ban, and comply with the regulations around it.

Controversy in ban application

A full EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics and the use of any ingredients that have been tested on animals has been in place since July 2013.

In a landmark case this week, the Court of Justice of the European Union came out in favour of upholding the ban, finding that there are to be ‘no exceptions’ in its application.

A trade body, the European Federation of Cosmetics Ingredients (EFCI), had hoped to find a route around the ruling for brands who test their products on animals in other markets (and in some scenarios, within the EU), but the court rejected its request.

The Court states next that EU law makes no distinction depending on where the animal testing was carried out," it asserted in a statement.

ECHA and European Commission accused

In a separate incident, animal rights group PETA announced it has brought a complaint against two European bodies, the ECHA (responsible for launching the new guide) and the European Commission.

PETA alleges that the bodies have been using the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation to justify encouraging companies to continue testing on animals in some circumstances.

The European Ombudsman is considering the evidence, and is yet to announce if it will launch an inquiry.

Guides to the ban

The ECHA new guides, first published in English in July 2016, are now available in 23 EU languages, the ECHA explains.

The guide on How to use alternatives to animal testing to fulfil your information requirements combines five practical guides on how to use alternative approaches and report data in the registration dossier,” the body explains.

It helps you to better understand your obligations to avoid unnecessary testing on animals while still making sure that you have sufficient information on your substances for classification and risk assessment.”

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