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New EPA Report Recommends Moving Away from Animal Testing

Written by PETA | April 2, 2009
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Bunny

Finally. After PETA has spent the past 10 years hammering away at the Environmental Protection Agency over its absurdly archaic, repetitive, and wasteful—not to mention cruel—chemical-toxicity tests on animals, the agency has at last released a strategic plan for improving toxicity testing that basically says, “Yeah, what PETA said.”

OK, that’s not exactly what it says, but the report is very encouraging, nonetheless. What it does say is that the current testing programs, which rely largely on animal tests, are costly, time-consuming, and basically not up to the task of accurately and adequately assessing the toxicity of tens of thousands of chemicals.

Um, duh.

As the Boston Globe wrote just this week, even many researchers are now acknowledging that animal research “isn’t even the best science” and that “[r]eplacing animals with human tissue has already proven to be [a] good business bet.”

So, the EPA is now proposing a new “paradigm” that focuses on computer models, molecular biology, and cell cultures, using data from the human genome project, clinical trials, exposure assessments, and other technologies that the EPA calls “new”—even though many of them have been around for more than a decade now. Some of the technologies are even being developed at the EPA!

Here’s a direct quote from the report: “The overall goal of this strategy is to provide the tools and approaches to move from a near exclusive use of animal tests for predicting human health effects to a process that relies more heavily on in vitro assays, especially those using human cell lines.”

Can I hear an “Amen”?

The new EPA report is based on the findings of a National Research Council report released in 2007 that said essentially the same thing. This makes sense, because the EPA actually commissioned that report—though it’s taken the agency nearly two years to evaluate the report’s findings. What can we say? The wheels of justice grind slowly.

Now, if we can just get all parts of the EPA to act on its own report, we’ll be getting somewhere. I say that because, just yesterday, PETA research associate Joe Manuppello testified at a hearing (which we called for) about proposed high production volume chemical tests that would kill another 10,000 animals. The proposed tests involve 15 chemicals, including sorbic acid (a naturally occurring fatty acid), castor oil, and oxalic acid, all of which are already known to be either safe or extremely toxic, based on years of experience and existing data from previous tests. At that hearing, we pointed out that the tests contradicted the EPA’s own strategic plan as well as the basic animal welfare principles that the agency put into effect 10 years ago (under pressure from PETA). Those principles state that chemicals should not be retested if sufficient data already exist concerning the safety or toxicity of a chemical. According to all reports, the EPA officials found Joe’s testimony riveting. (You have to wonder—if PETA can find the data, why can’t the EPA? Is it just a matter of caring enough to find it?)

EPA, you’re moving in the right direction. Now we just need all parts of your agency to walk the talk. Until you do, you can bet that we’ll be pushing you every step of the way.

Written by Alisa Mullins

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  • ana vidal says:

    what a shame way to progess!!!

  • NANCY SPAINHOUR says:

    I ONLY WISH I HAD UNLIMITED FUNDS SO I COULD HELP TO PROTECT ALL OF THE ANIMALS IN THE WORLD. IT IS SO CRUEL WHAT SOME PEOPLE WILL DO FOR A DOLLAR. NO MADDER WHO THEY HURT BE IT PEOPLE OR ANIMAL. WE ARE ALL GODS CREATURES DON’T THESE PEOPLE REALIZE THAT?? HOW WOULD THEY LIKE TO BE ON THE RECEIVING END OF THIS TREATMENT??

  • Anne Mellon says:

    what on earth is the point of doing experiments on beagles when it’s human beings who are going to take the medicine or whatever? Has no one worked out that dogs and humans are not quite the same?

  • JOHN GOODRIDGE says:

    I’m UK based so cant bend the ear of a congressman! …My thoughts are with your excellent work though. By abusing the animal kingdom or anything else mankind abuses himself…and therefore will not evolve to a higher level of consciousness. This dark cycle of human dysfunction must be broken. Vivisection is a particually vile and souless human activity.

  • isolde montoya laske says:

    “Humans dominate nature before they can dominate theirselves” said a wise man and thanks God PETA exists and help these poor animals that are treated with no respect at all. As if their lives belong to us! Shame on human beings who experiment harm or endanger any species!

  • silvana says:

    dont kill animals dont let they suffer!!!

  • monica russo says:

    animal tests are cruel and vane!

  • Saucy says:

    Did you say Amen? AAAAAAmen! There are so many people that would be willing to give their “human” tissue and cultures stem cells and even organs to help with these tests myself included but only with the idea that we are working toward solutions that don’t involve animal testing. Get rid of the mad scientists those who have no empathy or consideration for the life miracle of these animals. Shut down the breeders starting with Covance Oh your done Covance And for God’s Sakes show a little respect for our world’s last frontier……………LOVE. It’s time! Amen

  • Kristin says:

    Hurrah! Thank you PETA.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Excellent newsPETA has worked hard on this issue. There seems to be a lot of positive AR progress already this year with the exception of the Canadian seal huntwe can only hope this will be its last year.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    The constructive use of adult stem cells nonperson embryonic stem cells and human skin skills is much more productive and effective than destructively torturing and killing myriad animals in monstrous research labs that are ineffectual.

  • Jamie Rivet says:

    “Struggle for a dollar scuffle for a dime. Step out from the past and try to hold the line. So how come history takes such a long long time? When you’re waiting for a miracle.” These words by Bruce Cockburn always come to mind when I think of animal liberation.

  • Susan Ballarini says:

    I am tearfully hopeful. Thank you PETA people for the years of hard work and dedication to issues involving animal suffering. I personally would rather die than give up the fight.

  • Margarita says:

    I was thinking that also to have a petition drive to continue to put pressure on this subject.

  • Aneliese says:

    Well it’s about time. Humans just can’t evolve when it comes to animal rights. Honestly…

  • Anita50882 says:

    OMG this is probably the most promising article I’ve ever read on this site. I can’t believe what PETA was able to do. Thank God for people like you. I thought the animal testing thing wasn’t going anywhere in my lifetime but I’ve never been so happy to be wrong in my life. Please send a link so we can start sending letters and stay right up their butts till they come through on their promisesunlike McD’s. Just think of the useless suffering you have prevented!