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Animals in the U.S. are being injected with substances like Botox until they become paralyzed and suffocate, even though there are modern, non-animal methods to test the deadly neurotoxin. As a recent Washington Post investigation reveals, the entity put in place by Congress to reduce the use of animals in toxicity testing—the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)—has failed miserably and has, in fact, become a major obstacle to the incorporation of non-animal test methods. In its 10 years of existence, ICCVAM has only recommended four "alternative" test methods to regulatory agencies. During the same period of time, its European counterpart recommended more than two dozen!
PETA has released a new report confirming The Washington Post's findings and showing that the U.S.' failure to move forward is because of a profound lack of political will, legislative mandates, interest on the part of federal bureaucrats, and a sense of urgency to modernize chemical testing methods. The failure of the U.S. government, including ICCVAM, to reduce and replace the use of animals in toxicity testing ensures that millions of animals will continue to suffer as they are poisoned by toxic chemicals and fails to protect the public health.
Last year, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a landmark report which, in the words of an NAS news release, stated that the use of non-animal methods "would generate more-relevant data to evaluate risks people face, expand the number of chemicals that could be scrutinized, and reduce the time, money, and animals involved in testing ... ." In the wake of the NAS report, it looks as though the United States may finally be ready to start catching up to other nations by adopting modern testing methods. But this will not happen as long as ICCVAM is allowed to stand in the way of progress.
PETA is calling for a congressional investigation into ICCVAM's negligence and for the creation of a new entity to oversee the implementation of the NAS recommendations. Please contact your members of Congress about this important issue (scroll to the bottom of linked page for e-mail form).
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