PCRM Advises European Cosmetics Industry’s Nonanimal Research Initiative
Last month, PCRM joined more than 70 European organizations at a meeting to kick off a research initiative to accelerate development of nonanimal safety testing methods for cosmetic product ingredients. Meanwhile, some U.S. lawmakers may soon introduce legislation that could dramatically increase cosmetic testing on animals.
The European project was launched by the European Commission and the European cosmetics industry to fill gaps in scientific knowledge and accelerate the development of nonanimal test methods.
The meeting was the first of five yearly meetings to discuss the research strategy of Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal Testing (SEURAT). The project has five modules, each with a different, coordinated focus, including computer modeling, virtual liver development, and stem cell methods. PCRM toxicologist Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., was invited to join the initiative’s scientific advisory board to help ensure its success.
In addition to research and technology development, SEURAT-1 will create a roadmap to ensure the development, validation, and acceptance of nonanimal methods by regulatory bodies.
But in the United States, the Safe Cosmetics Act, a bill proposed in the last Congress that will likely be re-introduced, could increase animal testing in the cosmetics industry. This could make it difficult for American cosmetics companies to export products to Europe. It could also force cruelty-free cosmetics companies to begin testing ingredients on animals.
PCRM is encouraging lawmakers to follow the EU approach and ban testing of cosmetics on animals, in addition to using other strategies to efficiently and effectively assess the safety of cosmetic ingredients without using animals.
“Nonanimal tests can make American cosmetic products more competitive in the international market, protect human health, and save the lives of millions of animals,” Sullivan recently said at the annual Society of Toxicology meeting in Washington, D.C., where she represented the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT), which PCRM co-founded.
PCRM also recently worked with DoSomething.org to feature “11 Myths About Animal Testing,” which dispels common myths about animal testing for cosmetics, household cleaners, and other products.