Breaking! EPA Pledges To Severely Cut Back On Animal Testing and Instead Promote Non-Animal-Based Research

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This week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a directive to prioritize efforts to severely reduce animal testing. Administrator Wheeler also announced $4.25 million in funding to five universities to research the development and use of alternative test methods and strategies that reduce, refine, and/or replace vertebrate animal testing.

“Today’s memo directs the agency to aggressively reduce animal testing, including reducing mammal study requests and funding 30% by 2025 and completely eliminating them by 2035,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a statement.

Any mammal studies requested or funded by EPA after 2035 will require administrator approval on a case by case basis. It directs leadership and staff in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and the Office of Research and Development to prioritize ongoing efforts and to direct existing resources toward additional activities that will demonstrate measurable impacts in the reduction of animal testing while ensuring protection of human health and the environment.

“Under Administrator Wheeler’s leadership, EPA continues to forge a pathway to end decades of reliance on conventional animal tests as predictors of risk to humans and our environment. By setting bold goals for EPA-related testing, the agency can help drive science forward – creating a more humane and predictive paradigm for chemical safety assessments,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “We ask Congress, the regulated industry and other key stakeholders to join together in support of this key initiative.”

“Physicians Committee members have supported the replacement of toxicity tests on animals for many years,” said Kristie Sullivan, MPH, vice president for research policy at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “We have been pleased to see the progress EPA has made to adopt newer and better test methods, and we are excited to witness the agency making a commitment to move more fully towards nonanimal tests that will better protect human health and the environment.”

In addition to the memo, five universities were awarded grants through the agency’s Science to Achieve Results Program. The research focuses on advancing the development and use of alternative test methods and strategies to reduce, refine, and/or replace vertebrate animal testing. The grantees are advancing the science of non-vertebrate alternative test methods and strategies in chemical hazard assessment. To read the full memo, CLICK HERE.

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