The 2015 LUSH Prize – We’re on the Shortlist!
We love LUSH. In addition to making some of our favourite soaps, lotions and, of course, bath bombs, the cruelty-free company is also actively helping campaigners, regulators and scientists work together towards a day when testing on animals will be a thing of the past.
One of the ways in which it does this is with the LUSH Prize. LUSH’s owners wanted to accelerate the work of those seeking alternatives to animal testing, so they launched an annual competition which offers innovators the chance to win a share of £250,000 to apply towards their efforts. This year, we’re proud to say that we have made the shortlist. Both PETA UK and the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd, of which PETA UK is a member, have projects up for honours.
PETA UK’s nomination is for our campaign to help stop tens of thousands of animals from being poisoned and killed in potentially avoidable tests as part of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. At the end of last year, after an official complaint from PETA, the European Ombudsman made a landmark decision and determined that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which is responsible for overseeing the largest animal testing programme in the world, is not fully applying its authority to verify that companies conduct animal experiments only as a last resort, as required by law. The outcome of our precedent-setting Ombudsman complaint is likely to change ECHA’s procedures and prevent the suffering of potentially tens of thousands of animals for REACH in the next few years.
The science consortium was shortlisted for its multifaceted approach to providing training to companies and regulators in order to promote the uptake and acceptance of non-animal methods for regulatory purposes. Its initiatives include a webinar series and training to demonstrate the currently available array of alternatives to animal testing. They reached thousands of company officials, scientists and regulators through the webinar series. Approximately 80 per cent of webinar attendees felt that they had gained useful information on ways to incorporate non-animal methods into a testing strategy, and about 50 per cent were more likely to use non-animal testing methods for REACH 2018, which should save thousands of animals from cruel tests.
Should PETA UK or the science consortium win, we’ll be in good company. Past winners include PETA India for their work with Indian regulators on a cosmetics testing ban and PETA US’ Laboratory Investigations Department for their high-profile campaigns against organisations that test on animals and that provide support services for animal testing.
Those interested in learning more about these campaigns as well as the work of the other inspiring scientists, organisations and companies nominated for the prize can attend the LUSH Prize Conference in London on 20 November 2015 or get updates on the prize online using the Twitter hashtag #LushPrize. More information is available here: http://www.Lushprize.org/2015-prize/2015-conference/.