Landmark Chemical Legislation Protects Human Health by Requiring Nonanimal Test Methods

The Physicians Committee
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NEWS RELEASE April 28, 2015
Landmark Chemical Legislation Protects Human Health by Requiring Nonanimal Test Methods
Physicians Committee Applauds Shift Toward Lifesaving Human-Based Tools

WASHINGTON—The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine—a nonprofit of 150,000 doctors, scientists, and concerned citizens—applauds the progress of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (CS21). The amended bill, approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today, will help replace and reduce animal-based chemical tests and increase the use of human-relevant methods.

“Toxicologists have long recognized the limitations of animal tests and the need to use nonanimal methods that better protect human health,” says Physicians Committee director of regulatory testing issues Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H. “The landmark Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act ensures that those who test and regulate chemicals make this transition—saving time, money, and human and animal lives.”

With the amendment brought forth by Sens. Tom Udall, David Vitter, Cory Booker, Jeff Merkley, and Sheldon Whitehouse on April 28, 2015, CS21 does more than any previous Toxic Substance Control Act reform proposal to protect public health and the environment by following recommendations in the National Research Council’s 2007 report Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy. The report calls for a shift away from animal tests and toward tests that are more efficient and human-predictive.

The proposed amendments significantly improve CS21 and further clarify that required, requested, and voluntary animal testing should only be conducted after all other means of obtaining information have first been explored. The bill also facilitates the development and adoption of nonanimal methods by placing restrictions—which are stronger than current law—on animal testing.

The Physicians Committee has worked with Congress for years—through campaigns such as ReformToxicityTesting.org—to shift the Toxic Substance Control Act away from its current reliance on animal tests and toward more human-relevant tools that ensure robust protection of public health and the environment.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research and medical training.