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Institute for In Vitro Sciences Wins Award for Developing Scientifically Superior Non-Animal Testing Methods
For Immediate Release:June 24, 2010
Contact:Jessica Sandler 757-622-7382
Gaithersburg, Md. -- For developing modern and reliable alternatives to cruel and irrelevant animal tests, the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) is the first recipient of PETA's new Mark Twain Ethical Science Award. The award is named for Mark Twain in recognition of his staunch opposition to the abuse of animals in laboratory experiments.
Twain said of animal experimentation, "The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further." PETA recently sponsored Twain's hometown museum exhibit and hailed the author as America's first animal advocate.
IIVS is a nonprofit organization that has worked with scientists from hundreds of companies to design testing programs that allow the development and marketing of new products without animal testing. In one case, IIVS developed a rapid screening method that allowed a company to eliminate the use of 750 rabbits per year, while almost doubling the number of products that the company was able to test each year.
IIVS also works closely with regulators, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on non-animal testing strategies and was instrumental in obtaining European Union approval of a non-animal skin irritation test as well as the first stand-alone non-animal eye test capable of labeling certain classes of materials as non-irritating.
"Animal tests are cruel and often give misleading results, so the use of human cell-based methods for chemical testing not only saves animals but also provides better information for keeping people safe from toxic chemicals," says Jessica Sandler, the director of PETA's Regulatory Testing Division. "The methods that IIVS helped develop and validate have resulted in better science and will save countless animals from immense suffering. IIVS' work would make Mark Twain proud."
PETA has donated more than $500,000 to IIVS for its work since 1998.
IIVS will receive a framed certificate and a letter of congratulations from PETA. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
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