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Animal Testing and Alternatives

Championing Methods To Replace Animal Testing

The Physicians Committee works with government and industry to replace the use of animal tests with modern methods to test the safety of cosmetics, chemicals, pesticides, drugs, and other products.

Through lobbying, publishing research, training scientists, and attending and conducting scientific meetings, the Physicians Committee is dedicated to the goal of eliminating the use of animal testing across the globe.


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Physicians Committee has advocated for the use of nonanimal research methods in the search for treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19 and in the study of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

Report: Powerful Human-Relevant Biomedical Approaches for Studying and Responding to the Novel Coronavirus

Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

In 2018, the Physicians Committee co-sponsored the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which California signed into law. The law will make it unlawful for cosmetic manufacturers to sell any cosmetic in California if the final product or any component of the product was tested on animals after Jan. 1, 2020, with some exceptions for regulatory requirements. The Physicians Committee continues to work for federal reform that will eliminate animal testing for cosmetics.

Chemical Testing Reform

The Physicians Committee spent more than a decade working with the federal government and industry to include reforms that reduce and replace animal testing in the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. In 2016, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was signed into law. The law requires chemical companies and the Environmental Protection Agency to replace and reduce animal tests and increase the use of human-relevant methods.

The Physicians Committee also played a central role in the publication of plans by the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration to replace animal tests with nonanimal methods.

The Physicians Committee is working directly with Congress and regulatory agencies to ensure that, in time, all batches of injectable drugs and vaccines, including those against COVID-19, are tested using nonanimal methods.

International Efforts

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 that sets harmonized chemical testing guidelines worldwide.

Training on New Approaches

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, for decades, has advocated for human-relevant safety regulatory testing. With the rapid pace of technological advancements, it can become challenging to stay abreast of progressive methodologies within certain regulatory jurisdictions. Our toxicologists partner with leading experts in the fields of in vitro and in silico toxicology to promote and develop New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) and other non-animal approaches geared towards regulatory application. Designed for interested stakeholders, we provide training like the NURA program and resources similar to NAMs within TSCA.

Tail of Toxics: Improving Chemical Safety Without Animals

Learn about the flaws of animal tests and modern methods that will produce safer chemicals and a healthier environment.

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