Pushing for Better Test Methods
The PCRM Legislative Fund is working hard to ensure that new chemical regulations protect humans and the environment while reducing animal testing. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates industrial chemicals through a 34-year- old statute called the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate in April, the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010, and a bill to be introduced in the House of Representatives this summer aim to update TSCA. However, the new bills could lead to increased use of animals for chemical testing.
PCRM scientist Nancy Beck, Ph.D., is pushing for provisions that would better protect both humans and animals in the House of Representatives’ stakeholder meetings, and has outlined principles necessary for replacing animal use in written comments to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“Animal-based tests have been used for decades, but they are obviously cruel and don’t provide the most accurate information,” says Dr. Beck. “They’re also extremely inefficient. In fact, there are so many chemicals to test that it would take decades to test them all using animal methods.”
The PCRM Legislative Fund is encouraging Congress to fund the development of cell, tissue, and computer-based methods that can provide information on chemicals more quickly than animal-based tests. We are also urging Congress to require the use of available nonanimal methods to reduce animal use and drive
innovation in test method development.
These and other PCRM Legislative Fund recommendations for efficient, relevant testing will help accomplish the primary goal of the bills—more effective regulation of potentially toxic chemicals.