> Our ‘Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics’ ECI has hearing in the European Parliament
Our ‘Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics’ ECI has hearing in the European Parliament
We still need your help to tell the EU to end animal testing
Posted By Stephanie on 25th May 2023
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Our successful ‘Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe Without Animal Testing’ European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) was heard in the European Parliament today, Thursday 25 May, to make our case for ending animal testing in Europe.
We were part of the ECI organising committee attending the meeting in Brussels, which also comprised representatives of PETA, Eurogroup for Animals, European Coalition to End Animal Experiments and Humane Society International Europe, who made the case for an end to the use of animals in chemicals tests, as well as an ambitious and achievable plan to end all experiments on animals.
During the hearing, our Director of Science & Regulatory Affairs, Dr Emma Grange, gave a presentation on the need to transform EU chemicals regulation, and ensure that human health and the environment are protected without continued testing on animals.
In response, Mr Hans Ingels, of the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs – the European Commission’s department for growth – committed to “try to be as ambitious as we can possibly be” in reaching their “ultimate goal of phasing out animal testing in the long-term”. This was reiterated by Ms Carmen Laplaza Santos, of the EC’s Health Innovations & Ecosystems unit, who promised the Commission’s final and detailed response to the Initiative would be delivered by the end of July.
The ECI, which was also supported by global beauty and personal care companies The Body Shop and Dove, became only the seventh to have successfully passed the threshold of one million verified signatures when in January it was confirmed that 1,217,916 people had demanded an end to the outdated and unreliable use of animals in cosmetics and chemicals tests.
In September 2021, MEPs voted by an overwhelming majority (667 to 4) in support of an action plan to accelerate the transition from the use of animals in research and testing to human-relevant science across the EU.
Last year, the Commission committed to plan the full replacement of animal testing for managing the safety of chemicals in the European Union. Considering that a massive increase in the amount of regulatory animal testing taking place in Europe looks set under proposals relating to the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, defending and strengthening the cosmetics testing ban while planning a route to full replacement of animal tests is more critical than ever.
Proposed changes to the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation have been delayed, giving the Commission further opportunity to revise this key regulation in line with the commitment to transition away from testing on animals and so prevent millions more animals from suffering and dying in experiments.
Dr Grange said: “Our ECI gave voice to the millions of animals used in laboratories in the EU every year. This hearing made it clear what the people of Europe want: concrete plans to transition to humane and effective science and a phase out of animal experiments. We now await the Commission’s formal response to our ECI; we know that their policy decisions will dictate the scientific progress made in the use of animal-free approaches for cosmetics testing, chemicals testing and for all uses of animals in research and education.”