New PETA Grant Honors EPA Administrator

Wheeler Scholarship Will Help Scientists Develop Non-Animal Test Methods

For Immediate Release:
October 21, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Washington – For preventing countless animals from being used in chemical tests, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler is being honored by the creation of the Pat C. Wheeler Scholarshipa tribute to his late mother, a lifelong advocate for the humane treatment of all animals. This first-of-its-kind PETA research grant will support scientists seeking to develop effective methods for testing chemicals without harming animals.

The $5,000 award is being presented to U.K.-based testing laboratory XCellR8, an entirely animal-free facility that conducts tests for companies to meet the requirements of the EPA and other regulatory agencies around the world.

Wheeler’s team of scientists at the EPA and PETA scientists have been working to move the EPA toward reliable, non-animal testing methods that protect humans and the environment. Under  Wheeler’s leadership, the EPA announced that it would end its reliance on toxicity tests on mammals—and has since taken steps to do just that.

“In the face of flawed reliance on unreliable animal tests, Andrew Wheeler took action,” says Dr. Amy Clippinger, director of PETA’s Regulatory Testing Department. “PETA’s grant honors the administrator and his team for pioneering a shift toward superior, non-animal testing approaches—and enables scientists to bring them to fruition.”

“My mother was a supporter of the ethical treatment of animals all her life, so this scholarship is special for me and my family,” says Wheeler. “Scientific advances in cell-based testing and computation methods are now at a point that it’s no longer necessary, or even useful, to use animals in toxicity tests. I’m happy to be in a position to lead EPA in this direction.”

“The XCellR8 team works tirelessly to develop and implement animal-free testing strategies, supporting global industry requirements for regulatory toxicity testing,” says Dr. Carol Treasure, founder and CEO of XCellR8. “We’re truly honoured to have our hard work recognised with the first ever Pat C. Wheeler Scholarship and the award will be used towards our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to 100% animal-free testing.”

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind