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European Summit Addresses REACH, Animal Testing and Regulation
Posted: July 3, 2006
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He then turned to the topic of animal testing: “I am aware that the animal testing regime, as introduced for cosmetics in 2003, poses a significant burden on industry. But I am convinced that it is justified, because it reflects our political and ethical obligations. However, the European Commission does not leave industry to take this on alone.” Between 2001 and 2006, the commission reportedly spent €65 million on funding the research and validation of alternative methods. From 2007 to 2013, Verheugen said he has intervened personally to ensure that this financial support continues and even increases. However, alternative testing is not just a matter of money, it is a matter of ideas.
”The European partnership to promote alternative approaches to animal testing is an important step forward. It brings together the different industries concerned: chemicals, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, biotechnology and cosmetics. And I am very happy about the strong commitment of the industry to the partnership,” said Verheugen. He added that the personal care industry is not only selling a product, it is selling a concept that is not limited to safety; it extends to other aspects. And one of these other aspects is animal testing. “Today, you may perceive the rules for animal tests in Europe as a burden. But in the future, the awareness that European cosmetics are not tested on animals will be an important asset when competing on the global marketplace.”
Finally, Verheugen addressed better regulation. Last year, the commission revisited and reconfirmed the Lisbon agenda in a more focused way. He said that growth and jobs are created by business and industry, not by the commission, but one thing that can be done in Brussels is improve the legal framework so that manufacturers can play out their strengths. “For example, we can render legislation simpler. And we can render compliance cheaper. This is the core of the better regulation initiative,” said Verheugen.
”Unfortunately, it is true what is written so often: EU laws tend to be too complicated, too fragmented and even contradictory. But we are committed to change this: our simplification program, adopted last year, lists 220 community laws to be reviewed before 2009. The Cosmetics Directive is included in this list because it is a good example of unnecessary complexity: it is a patchwork of 44 amendments without a clear set of definitions and without coherent terminology.”