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The agency responsible for the EU REACH chemicals legislation, the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, has responded to comments on its proposed work plan for 2014-2018. The final version of the work plan published last month includes some changes requested by the ECEAE.
A promise to update its guidance on alternative methods as soon as they become available, including developing an integrated testing strategy to replace animals used for skin sensitisation testing
A promise to help keep staff up to date with alternative methods as the science progresses
A promise to publish decisions from the substance evaluation process (which can include requests for new animal tests)
The ECEAE told the Agency in its comments that it was pleased to see mention of the promotion of alternatives and the commitment for workshops and development of integrated testing strategies and read across frameworks.
However, we asked for more detail to ensure that ECHA’s desire for “more rapid integration of scientific developments into regulatory decision making including accelerating the regulatory acceptance of alternative testing and assessment methods, and integrated testing strategies especially with a view of the 2018 registration deadline” was to be achieved.
The ECEAE is pleased to see some of our suggestions included in the final text and we look forward to seeing the outcome of the agency’s work in this area.