Animals in Labs Article from All-Creatures.org



No Surprise that EPA Has Reversed a Commitment to End Some Animal Testing by 2035

From CAARE Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research
January 2024

EPA’s shameful decision comes at a time when the broader scientific community, including government agencies, are acknowledging the overwhelming deficiencies of animal tests to translate to human biology, with an established 90% failure rate. The pharmaceutical industry is shifting away from animal tests while the FDA no longer requires drug companies to submit results of animal tests to be considered for regulatory approval. The EPA’s decision is markedly backwards and out-of-step with modern science.

neonatal rat
Injecting pesticides and/or chemicals into a neonatal rat...

In a stunning and disappointing decision, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has announced that it has reversed its prior commitment to end all testing on vertebrate animals by 2035.

This means that thousands of rabbits, mice, rats, monkeys, dogs and other animals will continue to be intentionally poisoned with dangerous pesticides and chemicals in harsh tests conducted by the EPA.

Toxicity tests are exactly that – studies that overwhelm living animals with toxic substances. In other words, poisoning them, often to death.

Defenseless animals are forced to inhale or ingest painful chemicals at doses that far exceed the amounts to which a human would be exposed. The result is excruciating side effects like malformations, diarrhea, skin irritation, difficulty breathing, seizures, and death. In one especially horrific test, called the Lethal Dose 50 (LD50), researchers dose animals full of chemicals until at least 50 percent die in prolonged anguish.

In 2019, former EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler directed the agency to reduce testing on vertebrate animals by 30 percent through 2025, and to eliminate all testing by 2035 in favor of New Approach Methodologies (NAMS), a term used to refer to alternatives to animal testing.

But in 2021 the EPA ditched those hard deadlines in favor of a new plan that offered only sweeping generalizations, such as “establish baselines, measurements and reporting mechanisms to track progress” and “establish confidence in NAMs.” Outrageously, they claim they will do this through only a single case study each year starting in 2023!

The new language will allow animals to suffer terribly and indefinitely.

animal testing

EPA’s shameful decision comes at a time when the broader scientific community, including government agencies, are acknowledging the overwhelming deficiencies of animal tests to translate to human biology, with an established 90% failure rate.

The pharmaceutical industry is shifting away from animal tests while the FDA no longer requires drug companies to submit results of animal tests to be considered for regulatory approval.

The EPA’s decision is markedly backwards and out-of-step with modern science.

The EPA has long-published a list of acceptable alternatives to animals that can safely and reliably replace the use of vertebrate animals, including computational toxicology tools, chemical category and tiered testing approaches, and in vitro assays on synthetic membranes or ethically-sourced human cells. They must apply these and begin a phase out of animal tests.


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