December 15, 2011
HSI’s Work in Brazil to Promote Non-Animal Testing
by Chantra Eskes
Brazil is fast becoming one of the world’s largest markets for cosmetics and other products. At the same time, recent developments in the country demonstrate an increasing interest in the implementation of alternative methods for scientific purposes.
In 2008, Brazil adopted its first legislation for the protection of animals for scientific purposes. Among other things, this law established the “Conselho Nacional de Controle de Experimentação Animal” (CONCEA), which is tasked with monitoring and evaluating the introduction of alternative methods in Brazil. More recently, in September 2011 the Brazilian Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, both linked to the Ministry of Health, jointly established the Brazilian Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (BraCVAM).
However, Brazilian testing requirements continue to rely heavily on animals, including the requirement for finished product animal testing of cosmetics—a practice ended years ago in Europe, North America, and most other regions.
Building partnerships for progress
HSI’s Science Team is working with Brazilian authorities and companies in the cosmetics and other sectors to gain acceptance and use of proven non-animal methods and testing strategies and to update regulatory testing requirements to replace or reduce animal testing to the greatest possible extent.
Because education is vital to acceptance of alternative testing approaches, HSI co-sponsored a November 2011 training course in Goiânia, Brazil (organised by SeCAM and the Institute for In Vitro Sciences) to better familiarize government authorities and industry scientists with internationally recognized non-animal tests. The event was very successful as it gathered broad participation of Brazilian regulators, industry and university scientists. The cosmetics sector was particularly well-represented, and expressed its willingness to further explore regulatory aspects of cosmetics testing in Brazil.
HSI is currently organizing a follow-up workshop for June 2012 in partnership with the cosmetics section of the Brazilian Sanitary Surveillance Agency. The aims of the workshop are to:
- Explore current cosmetic regulations and testing requirements in Brazil, Europe and North America
- Examine on how finished product safety assessments are carried out in other parts of the world without animal testing
- Present the latest scientific developments from around the world in the pursuit of full replacement of animal testing
- Allow for a lively discussion on the relevance of animal testing and the applicability of alternative methods for the safety assessment of cosmetics and other products
The organization of the workshop will also include the Brazilian Ministry of Health, CONCEA, Abihpec (the Brazilian association of cosmetic industries), and the INCQS (promoter of BraCVAM and part of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation). Donate to help us end animal testing forever.
Chantra Eskes, PhD, is HSI’s scientific advisor for Brazil.