The announcement of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop funding toxicity tests on mammals by 2035 is in the news, fostering the discussion on how this step was taken.
An article in Speaking of Research analyses the situation, exploring EPA’s policies and decisions and raising questions about the significance of the deadline for phasing out animal testing in safety tests and why EPA have decided to team up with PETA.
Quoted in The New York Times, Tracey Woodruff of UCSF School of Medicine, who worked at the EPA, said: “I definitely think we should be investing more in this research,” referring to alternative testing. “But it’s really not ready for making decisions yet – at least the way that EPA is making decisions.”
An article in Science, examines the reactions from groups opposing and supporting the use of animals in research.
While groups against animal research welcome this move, scientists are concerned that EPA’s plan to limit the use of animals in safety tests will complicate chemical research and regulations.
Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist of Natural Resources Defense Council said: “EPA is eliminating tools that lay the groundwork for protecting the public from dangers.
“Phasing out foundational scientific testing methods can make it much harder to identify toxic chemicals—and protect human health.”
In its official response, US advocacy organisation Foundation for Biomedical Research said: “We urge extreme caution when considering testing any new substances on humans – including airborne, water, and ground contaminants – before testing them with animal models.”
SOURCE: European Animal Research Association