Editorial: EPA Toxicity Test Plans Continue: Gore Thumbs His Nose at Animals
In our last issue, I let you know about an animal testing program proposed last year by Vice President Al Gore. The program is called the High Production Volume Challenge, and with it, Gore is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to require animal tests on nearly 2,800 industrial chemicals.
The proposed tests include lethal dose tests, skin-erosion tests, and inhalation tests, among others. They will kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of birds, fish, rabbits, rats, and mice.
The chemicals to be tested include, believe it or not, turpentine, cyclo-nite rat poison, carbon tetrachloride, and tetraethyl lead—the antiknock agent in leaded gasoline. Not only are these chemicals obviously dangerous, but many of the tests the EPA claimed were needed have already been done.
PCRM staff and members raised this issue with the EPA, with the vice president’s staff, and with Gore himself. But I regret to say that, so far, Gore has not decided to make any substantive changes in the program. He is going full-steam ahead. Turpentine is still on the test list, along with rat poison and all the other chemicals.
Puzzling as Gore’s unresponsiveness may be, it is not a first for the VP. The supposedly “environmentalist” Gore previously struck a deal to allow Norway to resume whaling, and bailed out the pork producers, whose slurry and smells create environmental nightmares we had thought Gore might oppose.
This is not a partisan issue, and we hope that, sooner or later, Gore and the EPA will come to understand that this cruel testing program does nothing to protect the environment. Please take a look at the in-depth exposé in this issue. Then write to Vice President Gore about EPA’s High Production Volume Challenge Program.
Neal D. Barnard, M.D.
President of PCRM