Amended S. 697 Ensures Reform of Toxicity Testing
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine supports the amendments brought forth by Sens. Tom Udall and David Vitter on April 28, 2015 to the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (CS21).
The proposed amendments significantly improve the bill and further clarify that required, requested, and voluntary animal testing should only be conducted after all other methods of obtaining information have first been explored. The bill places restrictions on animal testing–which are stronger than current law–that will over time facilitate the development and adoption 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 current chemical management regulations are inadequate, and because we rely too heavily on slow, unreliable, and expensive animal tests. To ensure robust protection of public health and the environment, industry and regulators need to shift away from the current heavy reliance on animal tests and toward more human-relevant methods.
To protect public health and the environment, the National Research Council recommended in a 2007 report, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy, a shift away from this heavy reliance on animal tests and toward efficient and human-relevant methods.
More than any other TSCA reform bill introduced to date, CS21 contains many provisions that are consistent with this goal and the recommendations made in the report. 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 EPA to fund research into development of nonanimal methods.
Sen. Boxer’s Chemical Reform Bill Removes Animal Protections: Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act (S. 725)
For the past decade, the Physicians Committee has worked to share with Congress the importance of fixing an integral part of the regulatory process—toxicity testing. To ensure robust protection of public health and the environment, we need to move away from the current heavy reliance on animal tests and toward more human-relevant methods. Click here for full statement.
“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