Cosmetics ingredients to be tested on animals under REACH

In August 2020, two decisions published by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Board of Appeal ruled that ingredients used solely in cosmetics can be tested on animals under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. Tests on animals for cosmetics ingredients have been banned in the EU since 2013 under the Cosmetics Regulation, but these decisions effectively ignore the ban.

As a direct result of these decisions, more than 5,500 rats, rabbits, and fish are required to be used in new tests with two cosmetics ingredients: 2-ethylhexyl salicylate and homosalate. The decisions also open the door to more cosmetics tests on animals under REACH.

The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. intervened in the ECHA Board of Appeal cases concerning these testing decisions. Although the Board of Appeal rejected many of the arguments put forward by the Science Consortium and the company responsible for appealing the testing decisions, the Science Consortium and its members are exploring options to resolve the issue.