Physicians Committee Scientists Applaud Passage of Lautenberg Act (S. 697): Bill Ensures Reform of Toxicity Testing
Statement of Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., director of regulatory testing issues for the Physicians Committee, on the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act
“The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine applauds the Senate passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697)."
“The bill requires alternatives to animal tests be considered and used, and places restrictions on animal testing–which are stronger than current law–that will speed the development and adoption of human-relevant, nonanimal methods."
“The Physicians Committee now urges members of the conference committee–who will rectify differences between the House and Senate bills–to ensure that this strong animal protection language is kept in the final law."
“Principles to replace and reduce animal-based test methods and to increase the use of information from human-based and mechanistic tools are integrated into the heart of the legislation. The bill also directs the Environmental Protection Agency to fund research into the development of nonanimal methods."
“Since 2005, the Physicians Committee has worked to share with Congress the importance of fixing an integral part of the regulatory process–toxicity testing. We lack information on many chemicals and how they affect a diverse human population, because we rely too heavily on slow, unreliable, and expensive animal tests. Passage of the Lautenberg Act through the Senate is a major step forward in resolving this reliance. The bill is sponsored by Senators David Vitter, R-La., and Tom Udall, D-N.M. and sixty bipartisan cosponsors. Along with the bill’s sponsors, Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J., provided support for the animal protection language in the bill."
“As a physician, I know we need research but think our current reliance on animal tests is outdated, bad science. All animals are similar in that they all feel pain and are capable of fear and suffering, but it is well known that except for that similarity, many react quite differently to chemical substances. I, therefore, think that reliance on animal testing risks having a false sense of security with some harmful substances and false worries over others. That fact plus my deepest conviction that animals are not test tubes and deserve humane care makes me want to do everything I can to try to bring chemical testing into the 21st century with less cruelty and better science.” - Marge P., Massachusetts