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Unnecessary tests on animals by registrants of chemical substances

Summary of the decision on complaint 1568/2012/(FOR)AN against the European Chemicals Agency

The case, lodged by the PETA Foundation, concerned the scope of the European Chemicals Agency's (ECHA's) powers and duties under the REACH Regulation. The complainant considered that ECHA does not do enough to ensure that registrants of chemical substances refrain from performing unnecessary animal tests in order to demonstrate their substances' safety.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that, indeed, ECHA's interpretation of its obligations was excessively restrictive. The Ombudsman thus made a friendly solution proposal to ECHA concerning its own role as well as the cooperation it should establish with Member States' authorities. The Ombudsman was satisfied with ECHA's reply and closed the case.