REACH: A Glimmer of Hope?

Posted by 5 years ago | Permalink | Comments (3)

Puppy in a cage

© iStockPhoto / DanBrandenburg

We blogged a couple of weeks ago about the world’s largest chemical testing programme – Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) – which also happens to be the world’s largest animal killing programme. A recent development has given us hope that the death toll can be cut, and we’ve taken action to try to ensure that happens as soon as possible.

REACH is an EU law that requires companies to submit “safety” data for chemicals that are made or imported into Europe. These data include results from the testing of chemicals on animals, and experts agree that millions of animals – perhaps tens of millions of animals – will die over the next few years as a result. Up to 90 percent of the animals expected to be used for REACH will be used in reproductive toxicity tests. These tests can use up to 2,600 animals for every single chemical tested. A refined version of the current test that could use less than half the number of animals has recently been approved at a global level – in fact, scientists from PETA US deserve a lot of the credit for getting the method adopted.

By law, companies can’t perform the reproductive toxicity test for REACH unless they have permission from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which runs REACH. We’ve written to the ECHA to demand that the agency refuse to approve any use of the old test until the new one has been properly integrated into REACH. We’ve also sought an urgent meeting with agency officials to address the desperately poor uptake of alternatives to animal tests under REACH. We’ll keep you informed of any developments.


  • Brien Comerford commented on August 11, 2011 at 12:21 am

    We should realize that we are living in perdition if there are still scientific demons experimenting, torturing and killing animals.

  • commented on June 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Hi, just wanted to say, I liked this post. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  • Julia Lange commented on February 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    I agree with your comment, Brien Comerford.
    You`re right.
    I`m just 14 years old. I`m young but I think that we could change something.
    I think the real problem is that just a few people know REACH. If there were more people who know maybe more poeple fight and post comments against this.
    Something like that could safe so many animals.

    I`m interested in that, so I`m going to write a “Facharbeit” in biology about this thema. Tomorrow I`m going to talk to a woman who knows a lot about this.
    I have the idea that I could write something about REACH in my “Facharbeit” (sorry, I don`t know the English word for it).
    I`m from Germany, so please excus my English. 😉
    It`s not perfect but I hope you unterstand what I wanted to say.

    Jule (my nickname) :))

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