EU and US agree to closer cooperation on alternatives to animal testing

By Redazione

The European Commission and the US Food and Drug Administration have agreed to intensify their collaboration in order to reduce animal testing at a meeting of the Transatlantic Economic Council

The TEC was created in April 2007 in order to foster transatlantic economic integration. It deals with such issues as reducing regulatory barriers to trade, protecting intellectual property
rights, ensuring secure trade, integrating financial markets, promoting innovation and technology and encouraging investment. The cosmetics sector is considered by the TEC to be a priority

‘The cosmetics industry needs a global regulatory environment that allows innovation, secures competitiveness, recognises and supports efforts in the field of science and research and actively
contributes to consumer confidence,’ said Bertil Heerink, Director General of Colipa, the European cosmetics industry association.

At the November TEC meeting, a special focus was awarded to the development of alternatives to animal testing. Participants agreed on a need to intensify efforts internationally in order to
ensure the effective validation and acceptance of alternative testing methods. In particular, the European Commission and the US Food and Drug Administration agreed to cooperate more closely in
the peer review of validation studies of alternative methods to animal testing for cosmetics in order to contribute to a reduction in animal tests.

‘The European cosmetics industry is firmly committed to the development of alternatives to animal testing, recognises its ethical and legal obligations and considers effective implementation as
a major business opportunity. In order to meet these obligations we need to develop alternative testing methods that are validated and accepted by scientists and authorities worldwide,’ said Mr

A new EU report on animal testing shows that the number of animals used in cosmetics testing increased by 50% between 2001 and 2005 to 5,571. This is in spite of an EU directive banning the use
of animals for cosmetics testing with which all Member States must comply by 2009. Almost all of the cosmetics testing occurred in France.

The joint statement following the TEC meeting also noted progress on orphan drugs, biofuels, patients’ access to information on pharmaceuticals, and trade in electrical products.

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