PCRM Leads International Coalition to Replace and Reduce Animal Tests
Since 2006, the Physicians Committee has served as the Secretariat of the International Council for Animal Protection in OECD Programmes (ICAPO), which works for the widest possible implementation of measures to replace, reduce, and refine animal tests within OECD guidelines and programs. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental standard-setting organization, headquartered in Paris, that sets harmonized chemical testing guidelines worldwide. ICAPO is made up of groups from most OECD member countries, including in Europe, North America, and Asia.
Under the Physicians Committee's leadership, ICAPO has helped bring about the publication of an unprecedented number of in vitro test guidelines, such as assays for skin irritation, eye irritation, and endocrine disruption, without using live animals. In some cases, the new tests are more human relevant as they use lab-grown human cells and tissues. ICAPO also frequently proposes and advocates for changes to animal test guidelines that result in significant reductions in the numbers of animals killed per test, or better conditions for animals used in such tests. Because OECD is considered the worldwide authority for chemical testing guidelines, these changes have an impact throughout the entire world and for many years to come.
As Secretariat, the Physicians Committee serves as contact for the OECD, represents ICAPO at high-level policy meetings, nominates experts for scientific meetings to discuss specific testing guidelines or other documents, ensures ICAPO-authored comments are considered, advocates for ICAPO positions with OECD member countries, and manages ICAPO-led projects and initiatives. Physicians Commitee experts also attend scientific meetings at which guidelines are written or revised.