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ECEAE achieves success in saving animals from testing under REACH

22/12/2011

 

The ECEAE (European Coalition to End Animal Experiments), of which the BUAV is the Secretariat, is celebrating after learning that, as a direct result of our efforts, a proposal to carry out animal tests  has been withdrawn. 

The proposal, a 90-day repeated dose toxicity test for Pentasodium Triphosphate which is an inorganic phosphate used in household detergents, cosmetics, foods, construction materials, and a range of other industries. The test would have used up to 120 rats in a 90-day inhalation toxicity test. The rats would have been restrained in tubes and forced to breathe the substance for several hours each day for 90 days before killed and their tissues examined.  

ECEAE scientists carried out research and were able to reveal that such testing data already existed having been conducted by the very company proposing the animal tests in 1974! The study was in Russian and so had to be translated. We also found a previous exposure assessment demonstrated that use in household products would not entail any risks for consumers. We submitted our comments to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The company in question re-submitted the information to the ECHA and withdrew the testing proposal saving itself an estimated 250,000 euros. 

The testing proposal system is a mechanism built into REACH, the EU chemicals testing legislation, in which animal tests for the high tonnage chemicals are proposed to the ECHA by the registrant. Interested parties, such as the ECEAE, have 45 days to submit evidence or existing data before the ECHA reaches a decision on whether the test has to be done. 

The ECEAE is an umbrella organisation representing 27 animal protection organisations across 25 member and applicant states in Europe. We constitute Europe's leading alliance campaigning on behalf of animals in laboratories. The ECEAE has recruited a team of scientific experts working to save animals by analysing each animal testing proposal in turn and presenting alternatives to the ECHA - in the form of non-animal testing methods or sourcing existing data where chemicals have already been tested. .

The ECEAE only found out this success following a Freedom of Information request to the ECHA. The Agency had previously promised to post final decisions on its website.

Michelle Thew, Chief Executive of the ECEAE states; “We are delighted that our efforts to save animals from cruel toxicity tests have been successful. This first case shows just how effective our input in this process is. We urge the ECHA to improve the system to ensure greater transparency and efficiency.”

Millions of animals are still scheduled to be poisoned and killed for chemicals testing.  It is more important than ever that we have the scientific evidence and expertise to challenge the animal testing proposals that are now regularly submitted under REACH.  

Please continue to support our important work in this by giving what you can so that we are able to save even more animals from a cruel and painful death.