They Asked for It: CalEPA Gets Earful About Animal Testing
When the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) asked Californians how it should implement a new “Green Chemistry” policy for the state, PCRM responded: “Not with animal testing!” PCRM experts and many concerned PCRM members who live in California submitted comments asking the agency to use nonanimal-based testing methods.
Environmental scientists know that it’s not appropriate—or even feasible—to run every chemical through a fixed list of toxicity tests. Animal-based toxicity testing methods are dismally inaccurate and can result in the painful deaths of hundreds or thousands of animals per chemical. To get a handle on toxic chemicals in our environment, California needs to develop and use cost- and time-efficient high-throughput human cell and tissue methods, computer-based methods such as (Q)SAR, and intelligent, tiered testing schemes, not animal-based toxicity tests that do not protect human health, according to PCRM toxicologist Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H.
Ms. Sullivan submitted comments detailing scientific arguments against resorting to “check the box” lists of toxicology tests using animals, which some environmentalists and government regulators insist are needed to assess the risks to human health from the chemicals used in California.
In addition to Ms. Sullivan’s comments, more than 200 of PCRM’s Caifornia members submitted their own comments. These concerned citizens told the CalEPA to depend on effective and ethical chemical assessment methods instead of animal-based ones. The voices of so many PCRM supporters will make a huge impact on future policies and regulations.
Ms. Sullivan will be following the CalEPA as it makes its preliminary and final recommendations next year and will keep you posted as the Green Chemistry initiative progresses. Meanwhile, she will be working with state and federal agencies to make non-animal methods more accepted in California and beyond.
PCRM Online, January 2008