Can Someone Introduce The Environmental Protection Agency To 21st Century Science?
EPA has invested millions in its ANIMAL-FREE Computational Toxicology Research Program, ToxCast™, for development of “new and innovative methods.” EPA recognizes “quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) assays” as key in the evaluation of toxic pathways. It provides “Data Sets & Published Research” to support non-animal assays. ToxCast™ Factsheet
So why will EPA torture and kill 80,000 animals over a span of years for its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP)? The agency has rejected 90 percent of pesticide company requests to use in vitro tests in place of animals.
Politely demand that EPA permit use of animal-free ToxCast to screen chemicals for endocrine disruption. In addition, copy your comments to these collaborative agencies: Office of Research and Development of the U.S. EPA; National Toxicology Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC) of the National Human Genomics Research Institute. Use our automated petition or send comments directly from yourself.
EPA chemical screens will also kill 80,000 animals over a span of years. This is a bad idea. I urge EPA to update its protocols. Some tests — like “lethal dose 50%” to measure how much chemical kills half the animals dosed with it — date back to the 1920s! Draize tests from the 1940s still drip toxins into a rabbit’s clipped-open eyes or smear corrosives on shaved skin to assess eye-skin irritation.
Please replace old-fashioned animal models with human-focused research tools for EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP).
Reactivity assays can gauge endocrine disruptors and reproductive toxicity — without subjecting tens of thousands of animals to pain and death. In fact, EPA has already invested millions in development of these “innovative methods” for its Computational Toxicology Research Program, ToxCast™. EPA recognizes “quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) assays” as key in the evaluation of toxic pathways. It cites published research about the efficacy of animal-free assays.
Yet rather than embrace its own program, EPA has turned down 90 percent of pesticide company requests to utilize ToxCast in vitro tests in place of animals. The agency prefers to duplicate the same old animal tests in what amounts to an enormous waste of time and money. Animal experimentation is unlikely to help EPA safeguard humans or the environment.
Please let chemical testers use ToxCast to screen for endocrine disruption. If nothing else, ToxCast should rank chemicals according to significance and cut animal use to a bare minimum. Starting now.