The cosmetics industry needs to lead the way in championing alternatives to animal tests say XCellR8.
The obligations of EU REACH regulations have brought the animal testing debate back into the cosmetics industry to the frustration of both industry and the consumer. We thought we had this nailed; consumers do not want cosmetics or their ingredients to be tested on animals and the EU had decided to support this through legislation. We thought that ingredients used in cosmetic products would be exempt from the animal testing obligations of REACH but it turns out that we were wrong on two counts: Worker Exposure Assessment and Environmental Assessment.1 While industry seeks to take action and make progress in developing alternatives to animal testing for the worker exposure assessment, can we make any progress in reducing the number of animals used for the environmental assessment and are the ethical considerations even the same for environmental testing?
The cosmetic perspective
Cosmetic ingredient suppliers understood the need to develop alternatives to animal tests and progress has been made on tests designed for human safety assessment; reducing, refining and replacing the use of animals in scientific procedures. However, the demand for animalfree products cannot be defined by the 3 Rs alone since the very definition of the 3 Rs relies upon the legislative definition of what an animal in a scientific procedure is.2 It does not cover the use of animal products in testing and its definition of an animal is restricted to vertebrates and the “higher sentient” organisms, cephalopods.3 At a time when the demand for vegan products is increasing,4 we cannot rely on EU legislation to define the needs of the market globally.
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