As I was preparing to disappear into mobile blog mode last weekend, the EU Parliament was voting on its chemicals policy, REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals). The effect of the legislation looked pretty vague. It would cost between £1.5bn and £8.6bn to save £billions (perhaps) in healthcare costs. What didn’t appear in doubt was that REACH would result in additional animal testing with millions of beasts affected.
Well there’s been a surprise. REACH may not be so bad after all because I came home to find BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) claiming victory. Most significantly the Cosmetics Directive which already prohibits animal testing of cosmetic products and bans animal tested cosmetics within the EU from 2009 will stand. Competing businesses will be forced to share data, which will reduce duplication and alternatives to animal testing will receive significant and guaranteed financial support.
I was wrong when I said: ‘What we do know is that the few MEPs – Labour, Tory and Lib Dem – who actively considered non-animal alternatives were supportive of them, but that at least a million animals will suffer as a result of legislation passed by a majority of others who gave it very little thought.’
It seems that, on the whole, the majority has chosen to listen to the minority who knew what they were talking about. But it was a close thing. If we were to have the much needed wider debate, it may be that animal testing would be reduced much further as alternatives, which up until now have received no significant funding, were fully explored.
EU votes for REACH… what’s that?
City Life’s lobotomy reversed: I was wrong#3……John Leech MP: I was wrong#5