The ACA and CIA1 welcomes today’s announcement from The Home Office Minister on the Government’s pledge relating to household products and animal testing.
HM Government is to prohibit the testing on animals of finished household products, a commitment included in the Coalition Agreement. Home Office data shows that there has been no animal testing of finished household products for many years and today’s announcement will ensure that remains the case.2
In addition, testing of ingredients that go into household products will also be restricted unless there is a regulatory requirement3 for data that cannot be met by non-animal testing or where the non-animal test is not recognised by regulatory authorities.
The industry remains committed to, and continues to be active in developing non-animal test methods to ensure that products are both safe and meet new regulatory requirements without resorting to animal testing. Whilst some regulatory requirements still mean that testing may be required as a matter of last resort, this announcement represents a pragmatic approach until the use of animals is no longer required.
1 Members of the Alliance of Chemical Associations (ACA) represent companies operating in many sectors of the chemical industry supply chain, from the manufacture of chemicals and specialities, chemicals distribution to chemicals-using sectors such as plastics, coatings, household products and cosmetics. Together with the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), we represent some 1300 UK companies who employ over 150,000 people and contribute over £42bn per annum to the UK economy.
2 In the event that non regulatory environmental or human safety concerns need to be addressed or that significant innovation could be developed then ingredient testing will be permitted but only with Home Office involvement. In extremely rare situations finished household products may also be tested but only with the exceptional decision of the Minister.
3 All finished household products have by law to be safe for both the environment and for the user. This requires data to be supplied to the regulators on their ingredients and for some criteria this data can only be determined by testing, e.g. is the product likely to cause cancer or reproductive defects. However, this does not mean testing is routinely carried out. Manufacturers are able to rely upon data generated historically or to use non animal test methods (e.g. artificial skin). In addition they support a range of initiatives to develop acceptable alternatives to rarely used animal testing through the 3R’s program (reduce, refine and replace).
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