Symrise has lost an appeal against a European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) decision that requires the German manufacturer to test sunscreen ingredients on animals.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decision applies to two formerly approved ingredients used exclusively in sunscreens — UV filter homosalate and 2-ethylhexyl salicylate.
Symrise sought to overturn a decision mandating that it test cosmetics ingredients on thousands of animals.
In August 2020, ECHA ruled some cosmetic substances must be tested on animals to establish if there is a risk for workers in factories where the products are made.
Symrise’s first appeal was dismissed by ECHA’s board of appeal in August 2021 and the supplier subsequently launched two cases in the CJEU to annul that ruling.
Animal rights campaigners slammed the decision, saying it effectively destroys the EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics.
“In one fell swoop, the court has sentenced thousands of rats, rabbits and fish to horrific suffering and certain death in cruel tests and rendered the groundbreaking cosmetics animal testing ban worthless,” said PETA spokeswoman Margarita Sachkova.
“Mice, rats, rabbits and fish are still being forced to ingest cosmetics ingredients to fulfil regulatory requirements under the REACH chemicals regulation,” she added.
Cruelty Free Europe said the decision makes bans on animal testing for cosmetics in the EU and the UK “virtually meaningless”.
“Animal testing requirements to analyse the safety of new chemicals, through Europe’s REACH chemicals laws, have taken precedence over the cosmetics testing bans,” said a spokeswoman.