Tuesday, 5 November 2019

US environmental agency to end animal testing by 2035

The US Environmental Protection Agency will phase out animal testing of chemical products by 2035, in favour of computer-based and in vitro tissue models.

As part of efforts to “aggressively peruse a reduction in animal testing”, the agency will reduce requests for and funding of mammal studies by 30% by 2025. Any mammal studies requested or funded by EPA after 2035 will require administrator approval on a case-by-case basis, it said.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a memo: “Scientific advancements exist today that allow us to better predict potential hazards for risk assessment purposes without the use of traditional methods that rely on animal testing.

“Through scientific innovation and strategic partnerships, we can protect human health and the environment by using cutting-edge, ethically sound science in our decision-making that efficiently and cost-effectively evaluates potential effects without animal testing.

The EPA is also awarding $4.25 million to five US universities for R&D into alternative test methods.

Kristie Sullivan at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said: “This measure will mean a safer environment as well as scientific methods that are technically better and more humane.

“We have been pleased to see the progress EPA has made to adopt newer and better test methods, and we are excited to witness the agency making a commitment to move more fully towards non-animal tests that will better protect human health and the environment.”

From December 2011 to May 2018, the EPA deferred more than 1,000 pesticide toxicity studies, saving more than 200,000 laboratory animals and $300 million in the process.

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology

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