The introduction of the full ban on animal testing for cosmetics in the EU in 2013 was unquestionably a pivotal milestone for animal welfare. Today, when the discussion on animal testing is high on the European agenda again, Cosmetics Europe emphasises its full support for the ban under the EU Cosmetic Products Regulation.
We value all initiatives aimed at promoting animal-free testing and welcome the fact that the European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Save cruelty-free cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without animal testing’ raises important questions. The interface between the EU Cosmetic Products Regulation and the REACH chemicals regulation, which permits the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), in certain circumstances, to request animal testing data for cosmetic ingredients, has posed challenges which are ongoing. Cosmetics Europe urges ECHA to ensure an ethical and responsible approach and always consider the use of non-animal testing methods.
The cosmetics and personal care industry has been at the forefront of developing alternatives to animal testing for regulatory safety assessment for more than 30 years. Science, research and innovation have been key drivers for maintaining the industry’s leading role in the field. We have shown strong, sustained commitment—and made significant investment—to build on scientific progress, develop new approaches and drive innovative paradigm shifts in safety testing and safety assessment that meet regulatory needs. We are fully committed to continuing our work in this field.
Indeed, Cosmetics Europe, along with the Personal Care Products Council and other global cosmetics associations are working with their members, industry partners and a broad range of stakeholders on the development of a new global cosmetic science programme. This programme will broaden efforts already underway within the industry to promote regulatory acceptance of non-animal test alternatives and will cover safety science in the areas of human health and the environment. We look forward to providing more details in the coming months.
Cosmetics Europe believes the only way forward for the EU is to focus on the development and regulatory acceptance of non-animal testing methods. We believe in an open scientific dialogue to advance this work. We call upon the EU policy makers to facilitate such a dialogue with the cosmetics and personal care industry and all other relevant stakeholders through an appropriate collaborative platform.
Cosmetics Europe is the European trade association for the cosmetics and personal care industry. Our members include cosmetics and personal care manufacturers as well as associations representing our industry at national level, right across Europe.