The Board of Appeal of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently published two decisions on animal testing for cosmetics.
It stipulates that ingredients that are used exclusively for cosmetics may still be tested on animals under the REACH regulation. (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals)
In fact, animal testing for cosmetic ingredients has been banned since the EU Cosmetics Regulation came into force in 2013 – and thus the current decisions represent an absolute misinterpretation of the law, as they enable manufacturers and regulatory authorities to effectively ignore the ban.
What does all this mean for animals and what can we do about it?
The following will happen to the animals:
As a direct result of the decisions, over 5,500 rats, rabbits, and fish are used in new experiments.
Some of them are given a cosmetic ingredient repeatedly during pregnancy.
The animals themselves and their offspring are then killed and dissected.
In addition, the decisions open the door to further animal testing, as hundreds of new cosmetic products come onto the market every year, the ingredients of which may then have to be tested on animals within the framework of REACH – at the expense of tens of thousands of animals.
What are the ingredients?
Two cosmetic ingredients are at the center of the complaint: Salicylsäure-2-ethyl hexyl ester and Homosalate. They are used in sun creams and other cosmetics to absorb the UVB radiation from the sun.
Numerous manufacturers and brands could be affected by the current decisions of the ECHA Board of Appeal. Consumers should therefore definitely refer to PETA’s list of cruelty-free cosmetics companies and brands.
There, over 500 companies and brands available in Germany are listed that neither conduct nor commission nor accepts animal experiments worldwide.
But do these ingredients really have to be tested on animals?
ECHA argues that the tests are necessary to ensure the safety of workers who may come into contact with the substances.
However, testing the cosmetic ingredients on thousands of animals does not help to protect workers – because the results of animal experiments cannot reliably predict how people will react to a substance due to biological differences between the species.
Aren’t cosmetic trials banned in Europe?
Animal testing for cosmetic ingredients has been prohibited in the EU in accordance with the Cosmetics Ordinance since 2013.
In 2016, the European Court of Justice also made it clear that the sale of cosmetic products that are based on the results of newly carried out animal experiments for safety assessments is also prohibited in the EU.
Nevertheless, ECHA, the EU Commission, and now also the ECHA Board of Appeal misinterpret the law and undermine the bans.
For the animals, this means further senseless suffering in animal experiments for cosmetics.
The Cosmetics Ordinance is of enormous political importance.
It also reflects the will of the European public and the EU Parliament.
The life of an animal is more important to humans than a tube of toothpaste or a bottle of sunscreen. This can be seen in the groundbreaking EU bans on animal testing for cosmetics and the sale of cosmetics based on results from animal testing.
Allowing animal tests for ingredients used in cosmetics under REACH ignores the Cosmetics Ordinance and completely undermines the sense and purpose of the bans.
It would be so simple: In order to bring a cosmetic product onto the market, only animal-free methods should be used. If this is not possible in one case, the ingredient should not be used.
What is PETA doing?
Since we were able to reveal in 2014 that the ECHA and the EU Commission continue to allow animal testing for cosmetics, we have worked tirelessly to stop these terrible experiments.
We are putting pressure on the EU Commission and ECHA and we ask them to respect the Cosmetics Ordinance and the ban on animal testing it contains.
The PETA International Science Consortium often intervenes in cases of the ECHA Board of Appeal and thus helps companies to actually minimize animal experiments.
The Board of Appeal has initially rejected the arguments put forward by the scientific consortium and the company concerned.
But PETA UK and the science consortium are now examining all options in order to find a solution.
PETA Germany and its international partner organizations appeal to all companies to take their responsibility accountable and to use humane, animal-free test methods.
They can also provide financial support for the further development of such methods. We also encourage companies to use ingredients whose safety has already been proven or to change the formulation of products so that ingredients are excluded that have to be tested on animals under REACH.
Not having animal tests carried out is a realistic option for any manufacturer!
The current decisions are a huge step backward. Nevertheless, we are more determined than ever to put an end to all animal testing for cosmetics.
What you can do
Please use only animal-free cosmetics and household items.
Help us to show the EU Commission and ECHA that the public is against animal testing: Call on them to respect the Cosmetics Regulation and to prohibit animal testing for cosmetic ingredients under all circumstances!
And I mean…Animal experiments are so popular because you can use them to prove or disprove whatever you want.
Depending on the client, completely different results can emerge from the same question.
Even after the EU Commission officially banned animal testing for cosmetics in 2013, the pharmaceutical mafia tried to continue its evil business with animal testing.
With the argument: many ingredients from cosmetics are omitted in the sector of chemical substances that, according to the law, have to be tested on animals.
It is well known-and terrifying- that ECHA is animal test friendly, although it has the legal mandate to allow animal experiments ONLY as a last resort.
They did not act in this way in any area, on the contrary: they often demanded more animal experiments from the industry, did not accept data, and hindered the work of animal rights activists.
In addition: what consumers may not know ( because it is deliberately kept secret) is that even cosmetics companies that manufacture their products in Europe without animal testing, as soon as they want to sell in China or Korea, have to test the same products on animals.
This is what the law of these countries prescribes.
But we are not powerless.
We have a lot of information today, and thanks to the Internet, we can quickly access important information and thus make the right decisions.
A boycott of animal experiments is currently only possible in the cosmetics sector, and we have to take advantage of that.
Therefore: Only support these companies that work without animal testing and manufacture their products with vegan ingredients.
My best regards to all, Venus