Euro safety rules to increase animal tests

10 July 2003

According to the Daily Telegraph's science correspondent David Derbyshire, the new European rules that will force companies to do safety tests of 30,000 man-made chemicals will lead to a massive rise in 'pointless' animal experiments. This is the claim of animal welfare groups who say the proposed legislation, which came after pressure from environmentalists, will see 10 million animals used to prove the safety of chemicals - many of which have been in use for hundreds of years. Although the legislation is intended to target potentially dangerous products, it could also force companies to spend thousands of pounds demonstrating that vinegar, baking soda and salt are safe, scientists say. The new testing regime is designed to replace the current European laws on chemical testing but is regarded by many as unworkable. Chemists say the law is clumsy and fails to target the chemicals thought to be most risky. Dr Judith Hackett, director general of the Chemical Industries Association, said the testing regime could cost between £4-5 billion over the next decade. 'No one argues the principle', she said. 'However, in the detail, they have failed to come up with a workable piece of legislation.' The Daily Telegraph, July 10

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