To ensure that testing on animals is only a last resort, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has started requesting additional information from registrants who submit new proposals for vertebrate animal tests. This follows the European Ombudsman’s recent decision about ECHA’s role in evaluating testing proposals and affects proposals made since September 11, 2015.
During enquiry into a complaint, Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, Ireland, suggested that ECHA can require registrants who submit testing proposals on vertebrates to show that they have considered alternatives to animal testing. ECHA in turn is supposed to share any relevant information concerning alternative testing methods for the registered substance with the registrant. As further measures may be necessary, the Ombudsman will review progress after six months.
The information received will be published together with the testing proposals on ECHA’s testing proposals consultation web page. Third parties can submit relevant information about the substance from alternative methods that may avoid the test. Registrants could then use this information instead of testing on vertebrate animals to fulfil the REACH information requirements. In such cases, the registrant must show that the main objective of the REACH Regulation, namely to ensure a high level of protection of human health and environment, can be achieved without a vertebrate test.
- European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Helsinki, Finland
- Safer Chemicals with Less Animal Testing,
Kaihsu Tai and Tomasz Sobański,
ChemViews Mag. 2015.
How can science help to avoid animal studies when evaluating chemicals safety?