PETA's most visible anti–animal-experimentation campaigns have focused on stopping the use of animals in cosmetics laboratories, agricultural research, dog and cat food trials, weapons tests, aerospace studies, and car-crash simulations. We've had tremendous victories in these campaigns and ensured that millions of animals have been spared from suffering and death in experiments.
But one area of animal experimentation uses so many animals that it eclipses all the aforementioned categories combined: regulatory testing.
Regulatory agencies in the U.S.—including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration—as well as regulatory agencies in the European Union and elsewhere in the world require chemicals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and many other products to be tested for toxicity. Animals are forced to ingest or inhale—or are injected with—toxic substances such as gasoline components and mercury. Animals used in these tests suffer extreme pain before they are killed, dissected, and thrown away like garbage.
All the more upsetting is that many of these tests could easily be replaced with more sophisticated, more accurate, and less expensive non-animal alternatives.
Until the late 1990s, most animal protection groups avoided targeting this area of animal testing because few had the scientific expertise to deal with the enormous range of federally regulated substances.
This changed when Jessica Sandler—now the director of PETA's Regulatory Testing Division—joined PETA's staff in 1998.
Before coming to PETA, Jessica worked as a specialist in biological and chemical hazards for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey, having completed her master's degree in environmental health science.
Because of her scientific expertise—as well as her knowledge of the federal regulatory process—Jessica was the perfect person to lead the negotiations with the White House and the EPA, and she succeeded in greatly reducing the number of animals slated to be used in the EPA's high production volume chemical-testing program—by the tens of thousands!
Over the years, Jessica has recruited more scientists, which, we believe, has made PETA the most credible and influential of all the organizations currently engaged in the fight against toxicity testing on animals.
Highlights and Accomplishments
The following are just some of the accomplishments of PETA's Regulatory Testing group:
PETA convinced government authorities in Europe to make changes to a massive animal-testing program known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) that will save up to 4.5 million animals from being force-fed toxic chemicals.
Meet PETA's Regulatory Testing Division
This team of experts is leading the way in reforming federal and international regulations that require substances to be tested on animals.
PETA applauds its Regulatory Testing Division for all its hard work and dedication to saving the lives of millions of animals.
Help support the fight to eliminate and find alternatives to cruel and unnecessary animal testing.
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.