Animal testing agreement signed to speed up adoption of alternative methods

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Japan, European union

International agencies from the US, Canada, Japan and the EU have signed a co-operation agreement to speed up the process for adopting alternative testing methods.

The EU ban on the use of animals to test cosmetic ingredients came into force this year but animal testing is still common outside Europe and progress is still needed in the development of alternative testing methods.

William Stokes, the executive director of ICCVAM and director of NICEATM, told CosmeticsDesign.com that the European cosmetics legislation had been “a driving force” behind the agreement.

Slowness in the adoption of alternative testing methods had led some commentators to question whether the EU animal testing ban was enforceable.

Stokes said delays had been caused by a lack of international cooperation. He said different countries were producing different recommendations on the same testing methods.

The cooperation agreement aims to cut out unnecessary delays by preventing these differences and coordinating the review process so recommendations are harmonized. In independent peer review meetings and reports, the countries also intend work together to produce single papers together rather than multiple works on the same subject.

In addition, Stokes said the design of evaluation studies would be agreed on together to avoid duplication and guarantee that the most needed information is gathered.

To see the final document, click on the link below:

http://iccvam.niehs.nih.gov/docs/about_docs/ICATM-MOC.pdf

The international agencies involved in the agreement included:

  1. The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM)
  2. The Japanese Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods
  3. Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau within Health Canada
  4. US National Toxicology Program (NTP) Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicology Methods (NICEATM)

Commenting on the agreement, Hajime Kojima, Ph. D, director of the Japanese Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods, said: “Although we’ve had informal collaborations over the years, this more formal agreement will allow us to work more efficiently and effectively.”

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