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REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals), one of the EU's largest pieces of legislation, has been called into question by many who believe that the legislation will endanger a number of animals.
The legislation calls for the testing of approximately 30,000 chemicals that have been on the market since 1981. The chemicals are formulated into many different household items, including personal care items such as shampoo. The EU has reported that too little is known about the dangers of the chemicals to both human health and the environment.
Those opposing the legislation do not find fault in the legislation's overall goal, but rather fear the repercussions of the methods of testing
Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment has estimated that anywhere from 16 to 45 million animals over the next 15 years will be affected by the legislation.
The legislation, however, has not been made into a law. The environment committee faces a vote on the legislation in Brussels today. Many animal-safety organizations are hoping that the commission agrees to do non-animal testing in correlation with the legislation. The commission has reportedly said that it could reduce the number of animal tests by 50 % if computer modeling and other alternatives are approved. The legislation is expected to go into effect in April 2007.