L’Oréal and EPA collaborate on animal free testing


L\'Oréal is providing $1.2m funding and data to improve EPA cosmetic ingredient safety testing

L’Oréal is providing the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with $1.2m in research funding and cosmetic ingredient safety test data to help advance non-animal alternatives for product testing. The research collaboration will enable the types of cosmetic ingredients evaluated using the EPA’s Toxicity Forecaster, ToxCast, to be expanded. The EPA will compare the ToxCast results to the L’Oréal data to verify whether existing ToxCast methods are adequate for assessing the safety of cosmetic ingredients.

Laurent Attal, executive vp of L’Oréal Research & Innovation, said: “Our new L’Oréal Predictive Evaluation Center’s activity is based on new generation tests using reconstructed human tissues, automated platforms, molecular modelling… In this perspective, the ToxCast programme from the EPA could enrich our testing platforms and help us to predict earlier the safety of substances for our products.”

The collaboration was welcomed by the Humane Society International/Europe (HSI/Europe). However, it said companies in the European Union (EU) also need to take action to increase their research funding and infrastructure so they can take their investment in animal free testing to the next level, especially with the EU ban on selling newly animal tested cosmetics only one year away.

Tony Seidle, the HSI/Europe’s director of research and toxicology, said: “This research partnership comes at a time when the EU is deciding how to spend its €80bn Horizon 2020 research funding budget, so policy makers should reflect on the fact that L’Oréal had to look to the United States for technology leadership. Europe must dramatically increase its investment in human relevant, non-animal testing tools or risk being left behind in the revolution taking place in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and chemical safety testing.”

HSI/Europe said that the Horizon 2020 funding must be used to support advanced research such as state of the art cellular, computer and robotic tools that are capable of superseding the limitations of traditional animal methods.