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First NGO-Funded Validation Study Aims to Replace Cruel Animal Tests
For Immediate Release:June 21, 2011
Contact:Robbyn Brooks 202-483-7382
Kalamazoo, Mich. — In a groundbreaking move, PETA U.K.—one of PETA's overseas affiliates—is providing funding to CeeTox, Inc., to begin formal validation of a non-animal skin allergy test for regulatory use. Validation is the process by which the reliability and relevance of a test method is established. Skin allergy or sensitization testing is very commonly performed on a wide range of chemicals, including pesticides, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. The tests currently use 32 to 80 guinea pigs or 16 to 60 mice each time that they are conducted. Chemical substances are repeatedly smeared onto the animals' skin or injected into their bodies before they are killed.
Following an in-depth search for a project with the capacity to deliver the greatest benefit, PETA U.K. is contributing more than $100,000 to the first phase of the validation study. This represents the first nongovernmental organization (NGO)–funded validation study of a non-animal method for regulatory use. The total contributions of PETA and its affiliates to non-animal test development currently top $1 million.
"This donation is important because it puts PETA and its affiliates in a unique position of not only championing the need for new non-animal tests but also providing money to help make it happen. It sets a good example for others to follow," says Tim Mitchell, president of CeeTox, Inc.
"We are excited that PETA U.K. has taken this opportunity to apply good science to the protection of people and save a large number of animals from painful experiments," says Jessica Sandler, director of PETA's Regulatory Testing Division.
Validation of this testing method is particularly timely in light of the upcoming ban on sales of cosmetics in Europe that have been tested on animals. As of 2013, cosmetics that have been tested on animals will no longer be able to be marketed in the European Union, putting pressure on cosmetics companies to replace the use of animals in testing if they wish to sell their products in the E.U.
The new non-animal test is intended as a full replacement for the animal tests currently in use that take weeks to perform and cost $4,000 to $7,000. The new test will take three to four days to complete and cost half as much as the animal tests.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
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