Devastating Increase in Animal Testing Expected if Changes to REACH Are Accepted
EU national authorities recently announced that they’re planning to update the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation so that it covers substances known as nanomaterials.
Nanomaterials are materials on the nanoscale (i.e. extremely small), and scientists generally agree that when it comes to obtaining the hazard information that regulators ask for, the non-animal methods that work for other chemicals can be used for them, too, with just a few tweaks. However, the proposed changes to REACH would request specific information on nanomaterials beyond what’s required for other chemicals.
These additional demands under REACH could mean that thousands of animals will be subjected to experiments in which they’re forced to inhale nanomaterials or eat nanomaterial-laced food for months on end before finally being killed. They could also make it much more difficult to appeal against requests to conduct such tests.
By pushing for these changes, national governments and the European Commission are ignoring mounting scientific evidence that tests on animals fail to predict what happens if we eat or inhale these materials and that non-animal methods, such as computer modelling and human tissue models, are much more effective. Furthermore, they’re failing to follow the requirement explicitly stated under REACH that experiments on animals be used only as a last resort.
It’s time to take action and demand that European decision-makers find more effective ways of regulating nanomaterials by ending cruel experiments and promoting cutting-edge research methods that don’t harm animals.
You Can Help
Please sign PETA’s petition urging national governments to reject proposals to expand animal testing and instead promote the development and use of modern, non-animal methods.