The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reducing its reliance on animal testing to assess human risk of chemical toxicity and will instead focus more heavily on the tools made possible by advances in molecular biology, genomics and computational modeling.
The move is part of the EPA's effort to find better, cheaper and faster ways to screen thousands of chemicals for human risk, including the ways in which toxicity occurs, the impact of long-term exposure to various chemicals, and how chemicals effect genetic variations of the population....
It expects the new approach will yield significant savings. For example, companies may have to pay upwards of a half-million dollars to perform an endocrine disruption screening on individual chemicals, as may be required by the end of the year for chemicals that include food use pesticides, but the new approach may trim the cost to about $20,000.
The EPA will still use animal testing for the foreseeable future, but in smarter ways, Kavlock said. "For a long time there will be a need for animal testing," he said. "They've served their purpose well. The only way we can study some things is in animals."
Kavlock expects the testing strategy to be fully deployed within 10 years but believes useful applications will be released within two years.
Friday, March 27, 2009
EPA Wants to Rely Less on Animal Testing
It's not a move based on compassion, but efficiency. I'll take what I can get though, even if it's not an immediate eradication of a despicable practice.