Developing Alternatives to Animal Testing

Henkel is responsible for safety, health and environmental matters relating to the production, distribution and use of its products. In fulfilling this responsibility, the raw materials and finished products are subjected to numerous tests and studies, most of which are required by law. Moreover, Henkel applies additional standards that guarantee a high level of product safety for consumers and the environment.

Henkel only commissions animal testing if legislation so provides and no alternative test methods are available for obtaining the necessary safety data.

For more than two decades, Henkel has worked intensively on the development of alternative methods capable of providing the information needed without animal testing. Such alternatives are often referred to as in-vitro methods (Latin: “in glass”), as the tests are carried out, for example, on cell systems.

We are developing new alternative test methods with the help of our full thickness skin model, which involves no animal testing. We use this full thickness skin model to assure the performance and quality of our finished products, e.g. to test the compatibility of our cosmetics products. One result of the use of the non-animal in-vitro tests (tests carried out in a test tube) developed so far has been the inclusion of a range of new cell and tissue culture systems in laboratory practice.

In addition to its continued scientific efforts, Henkel proactively works to accelerate the currently long-drawn process of legal accreditation of alternative test methods. The overall objective is to further reduce the number of animal tests and ultimately to eliminate the need for animal testing all together.

PDF-Download: Henkel Position on Animal Testing

Joint efforts to develop alternatives to animal testing

On November 7, 2005, the European Commission and a number of industrial companies founded the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA). The corporate members of the EPPA come from the chemicals, plant protection, cosmetics, detergents and household cleaners, and biotechnology sectors. The objective of the partnership is to promote the development of alternatives to animal testing.

The partners committed to the Brussels 3R declaration, namely to refine animal testing methods, to reduce the number of tests that make use of animals, and ultimately to replace animal testing altogether.

The EPPA has drawn up an action program for joint activities by the partners. In addition to the concerted development of alternative methods, the program promotes the development of new test and evaluation approaches. The program will be revised and published each year. Henkel was actively involved in formulating the declaration and participates in the action program with a large team of scientists. On December 18, 2006, the EPAA published its first annual report.

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