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EPAA conference on animal testing alternatives calls for more co-operation

By Simon Pitman , 20-Nov-2012

Last week’s European Partnership for Alternatives Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) annual conference concluded that greater international co-operation is required to give the movement further impetus.

The eighth annual event, which was held on November 16th in Brussels centred on the fact that progress on the move towards eliminating animal testing on a variety of consumer products has continued to progress in Europe, further international co-operation will be crucial to continuing this momentum.

The event attracted some 150 delegates from regulatory bodies, the European Commission, together with representatives from the seven industries that the body represents.

More co-operation needed outside of Europe 

“Strong international cooperation is the future of alternatives to animal testing,” said DG Enterprise and Industry's deputy director general, Antti Peltomäki, during a key note speech given during the event.

Peltomäki stressed that while Europea has pioneered efforts in the 3Rs – replacing, reducing and refining animal testing – further progress in the sustainable development of innovative products could only be secured through this international co-operation.

The association is charged with finding alternatives for a range of industries, which includes the fragrance, cosmetics and personal care sector, together with other areas including chemicals, crop protection and pharmaceuticals.

During the course of this year international disparity in progress towards eliminating animal testing had been underlined by the fact that in China it is a regulatory standard to require animal testing on a range of cosmetic products, which has caused significant issues for many multinational companies, not to mention unwanted publicity.

 Memorandum signed with IIVS to up international co-operation

In an effort to underline the EPPA’s commitment to internationalizing its cause, the co-chairs of the EPAA committee signed a memorandum of understanding during the conference with the US based Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) President Rodger Curren.

The agreement means that the EPAA and IIVS will establish a strategic partnership dedicated to the international dissemination of alternative techniques for safety evaluation.

In an effort to support this effort, the EPAA says it will provide sponsorship of up to €100,000 over the next two years to IIVS to support training activities in key regions, including China and Brazil.