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The ECEAE is now working directly with companies that wish to avoid animal tests under REACH and can today already report an initial success.
A Germany based manufacturer of chemicals asked one of our member organizations - Doctors Against Animal Experiments Germany (DAAE) - to provide advice on two animal tests that it was requested to conduct by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
The tests in question were long-term toxicity tests; a 90-day repeated dose test and a prenatal developmental toxicity test. The 90-day study involves force-feeding the substance to 100 rats every day for 90 days. The prenatal developmental toxicity test involves force-feeding the substance to pregnant rats and killing them and their babies the day before they are due to be born to look at the effects the substance has on their bodies. More than 1,000 animals are usually used for this type of test.
The ECEAE provided comments on the proposals for these tests under our ongoing REACH testing proposals project. We suggested that the tests should not be carried out since the substance was not toxic and results from other similar tests were available. The Agency in charge of REACH, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), did not agree, and the registrant of the chemical accepted the need of the tests. After this the rights for the chemical were sold. The new owner asked the ECEAE German member organization, DAAE, for additional help, which included finding yet more information on the substance. The new company now feels it has enough evidence to avoid doing the test. If the Agency agrees with the new assessment, when it reviews it in 2014, then over 1,000 rats will be spared.
For two years ECEAE experts have been providing comments on proposals to test on animals which are submitted by industry to the ECHA. We had our first success in December 2011, when the manufacturer of the substance pentasodium triphosphate, which is an ingredient in household products, industrial chemicals, cosmetics and food stuff, withdrew a testing proposal for a 90-day inhalation study in rats. One of our toxicology experts had found an existing Russian language 90-day inhalation study. This resulted in 120 rats saved from being poisoned.
The decision process at ECHA whether proposed and commented tests will be conducted, or not, can require up to two years. Now that this long and challenging work is producing results, we are hopeful that the ECEAE can help to avoid further proposals for animal experiments. Please, support our REACH work and this crucial opportunity we have to save animals from a cruel death.