The European Citizens Initiative Save Cruelty-Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without animal testing reached more than 1.2 million validated signatures in January. Vegconomist learns today that, as a next step in the campaign’s journey, a parliamentary hearing has been held by the Committees of the European Parliament.
Today’s hearing was divided into three parts:
- Protect and strengthen the cosmetics animal testing ban: initiate legislative change to achieve consumer, worker and environmental protection for all cosmetics ingredients without testing on animals for any purpose at any time.
- Transform EU chemicals regulation: ensure human health and the environment are protected by managing chemicals without the addition of new animal testing requirements.
- Modernise science in the EU: commit to a legislative proposal, plotting a roadmap to phase-out all animal testing in the EU, before the end of the current legislative term.
European citizens are demanding an end to the use of animals in cosmetics and other chemical tests, as well as an achievable plan to transition to a science without the use of animals. The ECI organizers: Cruelty Free Europe; Eurogroup for Animals; the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments; Humane Society International/Europe; and PETA; proposed actions to transition to non-animal science.
Feasible alternatives already exist
Organizations already working in this field of animal-free lab testing include XCellR8, which develops vegan-friendly testing for new cosmetics and personal care products, stating it is “the only lab globally to make our tests entirely animal-product-free (or vegan); we don’t use serum, tissues or antibodies extracted from animals”.
In Russia, researchers at the SCAMT Institute at ITMO University in St. Petersburg, Russia, are testing plant-based drugs which may make it possible to drastically cut down on animal testing in medicine. The new nanomedicine testing system is based on plant leaves and their vasculature.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, Laboratory for Alternative Research (LIALT) replaces the use of animals by using three-dimensional tissues made from human cells. The point is, there are alternatives that exist to animal suffering across the board, even in science. We no longer have to abuse or torture animals for human gain.
Phasing out animal testing in the long term
During the hearing this week, the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs, committed to “try to be as ambitious as we can possibly be” in reaching their “ultimate goal of phasing out animal testing in the long-term”. This was reiterated by Ms Carmen Laplaza Santos, of the EC’s Health Innovations & Ecosystems unit, who promised the Commission’s final and detailed response to the Initiative by the end of July.
Chair of the organizing committee for the ECI, Sabrina Engel, said: “Citizens are calling on the EC to take a leadership role in the transition to non-animal science and drive a new way of thinking without animal experiments. We would like to thank the citizens, the NGOs, the researchers, the industry, the governments, and the members of parliament that already support these goals. This ECI shows that EU citizens share many of this Parliament’s positions as laid out in the EP Resolution. We are confident that the EP will help to break the cycle of harms that come with animal experimentation, by supporting once again the end of all animal testing for cosmetics, no additional animal tests for safety assessments, and a roadmap to accelerate the transition to non-animal research, regulatory testing, and education.”
The briefing can be read here Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing