October 11, 2012
HSI Intensifies Work to Replace Cosmetics Animal Testing in Brazil
In recent years, Brazil has taken steps towards greater acceptance of alternative methods to animal testing and improved protections for animals used in laboratory experiments. The adoption in 2008 of Brazil’s first legislation on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, the “Lei Arouca” and the creation of the National Council for the Control of Animal Experiments (CONCEA), followed by the launch in 2011 of the Brazilian Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (BraCVAM), represent the beginnings of a new institutional framework which offers exciting opportunities to replace animal testing in Brazil.
Yet despite this progress on paper, Brazilian testing requirements continue to rely heavily on animal experiments, and in some areas (e.g., cosmetics) this leads to animal testing that would not be required or even permitted in other parts of the world. This highlights the distance yet to be covered for institutions such as BracVAM to become fully functional, and for the Lei Arouca to be enforced.
In November, HSI will co-host Brazil’s first regulatory science workshop aimed at bringing together scientists, authorities and cosmetics companies from Brazil and the rest of the world to discuss the latest scientific and regulatory developments in the field of alternatives to the use of animals in cosmetics safety assessment through presentations, round tables and debates.
The workshop, co-organized by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, CONCEA, the INCQS (promoter of BraCVAM and part of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation) and the Brazilian Association of Cosmetology (ABC), aims to stimulate informed discussion regarding the applicability of modern tools for the safety assessment of cosmetics and their ingredients without the use of animals and opportunities for regulatory progress in Brazil.
The workshop will build on an earlier training workshop organised by SeCAM and the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (and co-sponsored by HSI) to provide practical training to government authorities and industry scientists on internationally recognized non-animal tests. It will also build on discussions at the first symposium organized by CONCEA in June 2012, which brought together representatives from Brazilian research institutions and other stakeholders, including HSI.
It was an opportunity for scientists and regulatory authorities to exchange views on the implementation of CONCEA regulations and the Lei Arouca. Among the topics discussed were training in animal care, the future Brazilian guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals, the role of ethical councils on the use of animals within research institutions, etc.