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Cosmetic Testing on Animals - Seb Dance MEP's response to my email about testing of cosmetic ing

From: Office of Seb Dance MEP <> Date: 12 October 2016 at 15:25:37 BST To: "Bell, Cllr_Paul" <> Subject: RE: Please End All Testing of Cosmetics Ingredients on Animals

Dear Paul, Thank you for writing to me regarding the EU's Cosmetics Regulation and the ongoing use of animal testing methods to assess certain chemicals. As you are aware, the Cosmetics Regulation prohibits testing finished cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients on animals, as well as the marketing in the EU of finished cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients that have been tested on animals elsewhere. Labour MEPs fought heavily for this legislation in the years up to its adoption in 2003 and worked hard to ensure that the complete ban was implemented from March 2013 with no derogations. The EU's animal testing ban was a deliberate and principled decision following many years of debate and negotiation. We have thousands of cosmetic products on the market which are not tested on animals and companies have had years to adapt to these changes. I hope a consistent EU position will also send a strong signal to other countries who do not have similar legislation, and will force the cosmetics industry worldwide to choose between phasing out animal tests all together, or else losing access to its biggest market. However, as you rightly point out, there are still instances where chemicals are tested on animals within the EU. Under the EU’s Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), all chemicals must be registered with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and registrants must be able to provide evidence as to a particular chemical’s safety. However, REACH states that animal testing should only be used as a last resort and requires the EU to minimise new animal testing and continually assess where alternative, non-animal testing can replace animal tests. Labour MEPs have previously received assurances from the European Commission that, in the case of cosmetics, the Cosmetics Regulation takes precedence over the REACH Regulation and therefore no cosmetic ingredients should be tested on animals. In July 2012, PETA lodged a complaint with European Ombudsman, alleging that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) was not correctly applying the provisions of the REACH Regulation concerning animal testing and that, as a result, unnecessary animal tests had taken place. The Ombudsman upheld PETA’s complaint and recommended that the ECHA should require registrants to demonstrate that they have complied with the requirements of REACH, and that animal testing has only been used as an option of last resort. She also recommended that the ECHA inform the relevant Member State authorities where registrants have refused to demonstrate compliance with the principle of last resort, or where there is concern the that this may not have been met, so that further investigations can be carried out. Like you, Labour MEPs believe that the EU has a responsibility to uphold the highest standards of animal welfare and that animal testing should only be used as an option of absolute last resort. We also believe that any loopholes that would allow cosmetic ingredients to be tested on animals are not in line with the Cosmetics Regulation and also misleading to millions of European Citizens who have called for an end to this practice. We have therefore written to the European Commissioner with oversight of the ECHA, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, asking her to ensure that the ECHA follows the recommendations of the European Ombudsman. We have also sought further reassurances that, in the case of cosmetics, the Cosmetics Regulation would take precedence over the REACH Regulation. Labour MEPs have always pushed for high standards of animal welfare to be maintained in all EU legislation and have previously helped to create new rules to improve animal welfare during scientific experimentation, voted to ban fish discards and shark finning and tightened up rules on the transport of live animals. I can assure you that we remain committed to this position. I hope you have found this information useful but if you have further questions on this, or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Yours sincerely, Seb Dance Seb Dance MEP Member of the European Parliament for London Tel: +32 2 28 47833 | Email: Website: | Twitter: @SebDance