More than 400 beauty companies and brands, including Unilever and Avon, have told the EU Commission that its ban on cosmetic testing on animals has been “effectively shredded” following a controversial ruling from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
In an open letter to the Commission, the companies were critical of the ECHA ruling, which stated that two chemicals used by German supplier Symrise, exclusively in a cosmetics product, needed environmental and human safety assessments, under REACH regulation, in the interests of worker safety and would therefore require animal data.
In response to a question in the European Parliament, reported in CosmeticsDesign, Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, said that the ECHA ruling was fully in line with REACH regulations.
The beauty industry letter claims that “widely used cosmetics ingredients” are now being required to undergo animal testing, and warns that new regulations in the European Chemicals Strategy might also greatly increase the numbers of animals used in chemicals testing.
The open letter was supported by animal activist groups including PETA and Cruelty Free Europe, who issued a separate statement on the ruling, and follows an earlier position statement by the Animal-Free Safety Assessment collaboration with the backing of Proctor & Gamble and L’Oréal.