Victory! Pesticide Tests Are Not for the Birds-or Any Animal

The Physicians Committee

Victory! Pesticide Tests Are Not for the Birds-or Any Animal

Hundreds of animals will be spared from being used and killed in cruel pesticide tests, thanks to recent PCRM victories. Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., PCRM’s director of regulatory testing issues, and Aryenish Birdie, PCRM’s regulatory testing policy coordinator, recently wrote the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and provided the agency with justifications and data arguing against animal testing.

PCRM’s toxicology and regulatory testing department works hard to show that animal tests can be replaced by other methods. Sometimes the need for animal testing can be eliminated by simply providing evidence that sufficient data is already available. This is the case for the recent victories.

PCRM helped stop tests that would have killed 200-600 animals, including newborns, for the pesticide thiobencarb, a commercial-grade herbicide.

The other victories were with the pesticide aldicarb, an insecticide primarily used to kill roundworms. PCRM successfully provided existing data that eliminated the need for an immunotoxicity test that would have dosed at least 40 rats with the pesticide daily for 28 days without pain relief, after which the rats would have been killed. PCRM also argued against EPA’s request for a lethal dose test on 50 songbirds for aldicarb. In response, the EPA may no longer require the test.

To see PCRM’s new, interactive pesticides infographic that illustrates the painful procedures animals endure before dying in 33 common pesticides tests, visit


Pesticides graphic

To see PCRM’s new, interactive pesticides infographic, visit

PCRM Online,
February 2013