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The ECEAE has expressed extreme disappointment over the content of the final report by EU experts on alternatives to animal testing for cosmetics. The conclusions of the report have not been changed from the original draft released in 2010 and, we believe, remains overly negative in its opinion on the availability of alternatives to replace animal tests.
The report has been published this week in the journal Archives of Toxicology and brings together the opinions of a range of experts across the EU on the status of alternative methods and the opportunities to replace tests on animals in the future. The report was commissioned by the European Commission to help inform its deliberations over whether to propose an extension to the 2013 deadline for the import and sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals outside the EU. Testing of cosmetics on animals has been banned in the EU since 2009 but the sale of cosmetics tested on animals outside the EU is still allowed. A full marketing ban is due to come into effect in March 2013.
The report claims that alternatives for two types of animal test (skin sensitisation and toxicokinetics) will not be ready until 2017 and that a time for three other animal tests to be replaced was not 'foreseeable'.
The ECEAE submitted extensive comments on the draft form of the experts report in July last year and we are disappointed to see that the conclusions remain the same. Only recently, UK member group the BUAV produced its own detailed scientific report outlining the non-animal testing options currently available or in development which shows there is no case for a delay of the ban. We also believe that delaying the ban will not speed up the development and acceptance of non-animal alternatives. Rather, the pressure of a deadline has helped to speed up the development of new alternatives - thereby saving the lives of thousands of animals worldwide.