Devastating decision by the European Court of Justice
The European Chemicals Agency ECHA demanded from the German company Symrise to perform additional animal experiments for the registration of two sunscreen ingredients. Symrise challenged the ECHA Board of Appeal, but the board upheld its initial decision. Finally, Symrise appealed to the European Court of Justice, again without success. On November 22, 2023, the Court announced that Symrise had lost the case - the company is now forced to carry out the animal tests.
“With this decision, the Court undermined the Cosmetics animal testing ban and sentenced thousands of animals to death”, says Dr. Tamara Zietek, scientific coordinator at Doctors Against Animal Experiments (DAAE). “According to the animal testing ban on cosmetics ingredients, only animal-free tests should be applied. However, for several reasons including an overlap with the chemicals regulation REACH, animal tests are still demanded by ECHA.
This has long been a major criticism by DAAE and its international partners, and strengthening the cosmetics testing ban is hence a major claim of the European Citizens Initiative "Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics - Commit to a Europe without animal testing", supported by 1.2 million EU citizens. “Consumers are clearly misled because they assume that the cosmetics products they buy, are free from animal testing – which is not the case. Modern human-based models can better insure human safety than animal experiments. Solely, these animal-free methods should be used in cosmetics testing – according to the purpose of the animal testing ban”, says Dr. Zietek.
Together with our international partners, the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society will continue to fight for the protection of the cosmetics testing ban and advocate the establishment of animal testing-free research and testing in the EU.