Physicians Committee Recommendations Lead to Improved Pesticide Testing
A federal advisory committee made up of industry, government, and NGO stakeholders recently recommended that the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs replace several required animal tests with in-vitro methods to better determine the toxicity of pesticides. Physicians Committee director of regulatory testing Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., headed the group that wrote the recommendations.
“There is still much work to be done,” says Sullivan. “But these highly public recommendations by the EPA’s main stakeholder advisory group are just what we need to put pressure on them to make quicker progress in replacing animal tests.”
The ultimate goal is to have the EPA require nonanimal methods to assess the hazards of industrial chemicals and pesticides. Currently, as many as 13,000 animals die for a single pesticide to be brought to market. The Physicians Committee’s “Animal Tests for Pesticide Products” infographic illustrates the painful procedures animals endure before dying in 33 common pesticide tests.
Apart from their cruelty, animal tests are often not predictive of human health outcomes, so Physicians Committee scientists work to promote the development and use of more human-relevant, nonanimal methods. In many cases, cellular, computer, and other methods have already been proven to be viable replacements.