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Colipa, the European Cosmetics Association, welcomes the publication of the European Commission’s (EC) annual progress report on the development of alternative methods to animal testing for cosmetic purposes.
The EC’s recent report highlights the progress made in finding alternative methods to animal testing. It also acknowledges that there are not sufficient alternative methods yet available for a number of health effects. This has been confirmed by several stakeholders, including many of the world’s top scientists, most recently at the 8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WC8), held in Montreal, Canada in August 2011. The WC8 confirmed that although significant progress had been made, no major breakthroughs could be reported in the replacement of animal tests. This finding is reflected in the technical report, produced by leading experts for the EC, which makes clear that a full set of alternative methods is not yet ready for a number of the most complex health effects for which the marketing ban deadline is due to come into force in March 2013.
The report also acknowledges that these alternatives may not be fully prepared and validated for some time, despite the ongoing efforts of industry and other stakeholders. Bertil Heerink, director general of Colipa, said, “Colipa has a robust scientific program in place on a global level. WC8 covered the 3Rs and Colipa is recognized as a pioneer and leader in Replacement research.”
The EC will now assess the likely impact of the 2013 ban, on the basis of input from a range of stakeholders. Heerink added, “Colipa has made a full and evidence-based contribution to the EC's forthcoming Impact Assessment and stands ready to provide any further input required.”
In order to achieve results to make as much progress as possible, as fast as possible, Colipa has been a committed partner with a long-standing research program. Colipa has taken the lead in fora such as the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA), of which it is a founding member. The cosmetics industry remains committed to finding alternative approaches.