Written by Jeff Mackey
Pop the corks on those champagne bottles test tubes! After
more than five years of discussions among PETA, the Intel Corporation, and the Society
for Science & the Public (SSP) concerning cruel and deadly experiments on
animals conducted by high school students participating in the Intel International Science and
Engineering Fair [http://www.societyforscience.org/isef/]
(ISEF), the world's largest pre-collegiate science competition, the event has implemented
a new policy banning experiments in which any animals die or are intentionally
This is great news since it's estimated that in 2011 alone,
thousands of vertebrate animals likely died in experiments conducted by
students who were competing in regional science fairs around the world in the hope
of making it to the ISEF finals. Seven million high school students participate
in these fairs each year.
Groundwork Leads to
For years, high school students competing in ISEF-affiliated
science fairs around the world have conducted and participated in invasive and
deadly experiments on animals, such as addicting animals to cocaine, inflicting
brain injuries on them, injecting them with toxic chemicals, and inducing
strokes in animals and then cutting them open. To stop these cruel experiments,
PETA has been working with Intel and SSP since 2007 with considerable success. Prior
to the new ban on deadly experiments, SSP (which organizes ISEF)—after
discussions with PETA and Intel (which sponsors ISEF)—adopted a formal
statement in 2010 in favor of modern alternatives to animal experiments.
How to Help Animals
in School Laboratories
Psyched about this victory? Use the buttons below to "like"
it, tweet about it, and otherwise spread the word. And if you want to cut
dissection and other lab-based cruelty out of your school's curriculum, get all
the details at peta2.com.
to guidance from PETA-funded scientists, Chinese officials are now in the final
stages of approving the country's first non-animal testing method for cosmetics
3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Phototoxicity Assay, which tests chemicals for their
potential toxicity when they come into contact with sunlight—and which is
already in widespread use in the U.S. and the E.U.—is expected to be accepted
in China by late summer.
summer, when we discovered that China was requiring animal tests for cosmetics
to be funded by cosmetics companies—including Avon, Estée Lauder, and Mary Kay,
which for years had been on PETA's list of companies that don't test cosmetics on animals—PETA awarded a grant to scientists at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences. These scientists traveled to China
several times to offer their expertise and guidance in replacing animal-based
tests—which are cruel and
unreliable—with non-animal alternatives.
is delighted to have helped jump-start the acceptance of non-animal tests in
China and congratulates Chinese officials for acting swiftly to implement the first
in a wide range of non-animal
Written by PETA
Several years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to tackle the issue of determining the safety of nanomaterials—teeny-tiny particles that measure less than one-tenth of a micrometer (even smaller than the brain of the average Michael Vick fan) As soon as we learned about this initiative, our staff scientists began communicating with the EPA, urging the agency to use the most modern and sophisticated testing methods instead of automatically relying on archaic animal tests, as government agencies historically have, basically for no better reason than "we've always done it that way."
Last week, our scientists' hard work paid off: The EPA issued its final "Nanomaterials Research Strategy," and it incorporates many of PETA's recommendations. While the original draft still relied heavily on animal tests, the final plan takes full advantage of non-animal test methods. This will greatly reduce the number of animals killed in tests assessing the toxicity of nanomaterials.
Just as important, the research strategy reiterates the principles outlined in the strategic plan the EPA released this spring, which calls for identifying and using non-animal testing methods that will ultimately replace all animal tests for nanomaterials.
This is a win-win for PETA, animals, and the EPA. Oh, and the public wins, too, because reducing the use of animals in assessing the toxicity of nanomaterials also improves the agency's ability to assess hazards to humans.
Written by Alisa Mullins
We predict a hit with ABC's new sitcom Better Off Ted, which premieres tonight (check local listings for times). I mean, with a story line that revolves around in vitro meat, as it does in the first episode, how could the show fail?
The premise of Ted, which sounds sort of like a cross between The Office and Big Bang Theory, is that smart and successful, if somewhat nerdy, employees are forced to use their powers for bizarre, if not downright unethical, endeavors by a soulless corporation. They are asked to weaponize pumpkins (which doesn't sound all bad, really) and to create uncomfortable, scratchy office chairs (some chairs do seem to have gone missing from the PETA office). They even cryogenically freeze a company scientist for a year as part of an experiment (now that's the kind of animal testing we can get behind—just kidding, c'mon).
But back to that in vitro meat. We can't help but think that the show's creators were inspired by PETA's call to scientists to develop a commercially viable lab-grown meat by 2012. As an incentive, we're dangling a big, juicy carrot in the form of a $1 million prize. Hey, we already have lab-grown candy—how big of a leap is from it Pop Rocks to test-tube T-bones?
I’m just going to come out and say this: PETA is offering 1 million dollars (say it in your best Dr. Evil voice) to the first team of scientists that can develop a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro (lab-grown) chicken meat.
The figure was reached by a team of math nerds working in PETA’s basements who have determined that 1 million is actually very close to the number of chickens killed every hour in the United States—so there’s a nice element of symbolism to the offer as well. But symbolism aside—we’re deadly serious about helping to fund developments in this new science, which has the potential to end the suffering of literally billions of animals if a commercially viable lab meat is made available. As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk puts it:
"People are surprised to learn that PETA is interested in lab-grown meat, but we have overcome our own revulsion at flesh-eating to champion a breakthrough that will mean a far kinder world for animals. One million dollars is a lot of money, but it's a small price to pay for something that has the potential to save about 1 million lives every hour."
To qualify for the prize, scientists in the field must be able to produce a quantity of meat that is sufficient to market in at least 10 U.S. states at a price that is competitive with prevailing chicken prices.
There’s plenty more information on our contest page. Once you’ve had a look at it, let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from both vegetarians and meat-eaters—would you eat lab meat?
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.