PCRM Scientists Spare Animals from Pesticide Test
With the increasing attention to protecting chimpanzees in research, it’s easy to forget the little guys. Not so in the Physicians Committee’s toxicology and regulatory testing department. Thanks to PCRM scientists, the Environmental Protection Agency has just rescinded a request for a study that would have killed dozens of animals to test a pesticide already known to be toxic.
Triphenyltin hydroxide (TPTH) is a fungicide used to control mildew on potatoes, beets, and other plants. It also stops insects from feeding on crops. The EPA asked the companies that manufacture the chemical to conduct a test to determine if TPTH is toxic to the human immune system. The test would have dosed at least 40 rats with TPTH daily for 28 days without pain relief. The rats would then be killed.
But Aryenish Birdie, regulatory testing policy coordinator for the Physicians Committee, found four existing studies showing that TPTH is toxic—and that the additional animal test would not provide human health protection. She encouraged the EPA to waive the proposed study based on this evidence.
In response, the EPA’s Hazard and Science Policy Council concluded that the requirement for the study was satisfied, based largely on the data submitted by the Physicians Committee.