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NEWS RELEASE September 30, 2009

American Animal Protection Groups Release Joint Statement on EPA Chemical Reform Principles

WASHINGTON—The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, along with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United States, have released the following statement in reaction to the announcement of "Essential Principles for Reform of Chemicals Management Legislation" by the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency:

“We welcome yesterday’s announcement of the EPA’s "Essential Principles for Reform of Chemicals Management Legislation" as a first step in the reform of chemical safety legislation. However, there is a crucial element missing from these principles, and that is the necessary reform of the science underlying safety assessment.

The EPA itself has realized the importance of this fundamental change in the science by its commissioning of a report from the National Academies of Science, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy, that outlines a paradigm shift from current, animal-intensive and time-consuming scientific methods to more streamlined and effective biology-based methods. The agency has also incorporated the principles of the report into its own strategic plan.

The current process does not yield the kind of information necessary for effective chemicals management. Without this shift in science, chemical management reform of the kind being proposed by the EPA and others is logistically impossible.

Reform of the science used for chemical safety assessment is a crucial piece of any legislative chemicals management reform. We look forward to a broad stakeholder process facilitated by the EPA to formulate the essential elements of this new toxics legislation.”

Congress is currently preparing to revise the Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA, U.S. legislation first enacted in 1976 that governs how industrial chemicals are regulated. At the same time, calls for reform of the scientific underpinning of chemical regulation—toxicity testing—are coming from scientists, the chemical industry, health advocates, and animal protection groups. PCRM is working with PETA and HSUS to ensure that the ensuing legislation offers true public health protection and relies on human-relevant, nonanimal methods for toxicity testing.

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.

Media Contact:
Tara Failey
202-686-2210, ext. 319

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