WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM) convened a workshop in October 2019 with chemical companies, government agencies, and research institutes, to discuss nonanimal approaches for assessing chemicals’ potential to cause lethal harm. The journal ALTEX (Alternatives to Animal Experimentation) published a report on the workshop.
Focusing on the acute oral lethal dose 50 test, also known as LD50, which is required for most pesticides, the workshop participants discussed approaches to assessing chemical risks using computer-based and other nonanimal alternatives. Following their review of the current state of the science, workshop participants identified gaps where data is still needed, discussed challenges of implementation, and designated several actions of greatest priority that will lead to progress toward developing and applying information and models to assess chemical toxicity and gaining regulatory acceptance for nonanimal approaches.
In addition to the Physicians Committee and NICEATM, presenters at the workshop included representatives from the U.S. Army, Corteva Agriscience, the National Toxicology Program, RTI International, Integrated Laboratory Systems, PETA International Science Consortium, and other companies.
The report notes that results from the LD50 animal test are not always relevant to humans and often vary, meaning that the test may not produce a consistent result when conducted multiple times.
“It is inspiring to see that a move away from using animals for one of the cruelest toxicity tests currently conducted—the Lethal Dose 50—is supported by so many scientists from government agencies, companies, and research institutes, and that there are better methods to assess the toxicity of dangerous chemicals,” said Kristie Sullivan. “By continuing to pursue the recommendations in this report, we are making clear progress towards replacing this test once and for all.”
To interview Kristie Sullivan, please contact Reina Pohl at 202-527-7326 or rpohl [at] pcrm.org.
Reina Pohl, MPH
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.