So why is ECHA doing this?
ECHA has recently reviewed old dossiers under the EU Chemicals Regulation, REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). They concluded that in some cases animal tests should be conducted, whereas at Unilever we are confident we can assure the safety of these existing ingredients without new animal testing.
There are also proposals to amend various annexes to one of the REACH regulations which will significantly increase the number of animals needed for compliance purposes. The amendments proposed would further restrict the science-based application of non-animal approaches, and force additional animal testing for classification of substances which are manufactured or imported in relatively small volumes.
What’s Unilever’s position?
We categorically do not agree that animal testing is necessary to ensure safety and strongly encourage the use of new scientific knowledge and non-animal data. We believe that the lessons we have learnt from doing non-animal product safety assessments over many years can be applied to assessing the safety of ingredients to protect the workers in our factories.
The future of chemical safety assessment is animal-free and it’s time to embrace modern, human-relevant, non-animal scientific approaches for regulatory decision-making. Anything else is a step backwards – for animals, for consumers and for scientific and societal progress.