On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will adopt a plan to eliminate animal testing requirements by 2035. The agency will spend $4.25 million for five universities to research and develop methods for evaluating chemical safety which do not include testing on animals.
According to the EPA’s news release, the plan is to cut 30 percent of animal testing by 2025 and completely eliminate all testing on animals within the following ten years. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler stated new methods to test the effects of chemicals and other substances will “significantly reduce” the much criticized use and abuse of animals in labs.
“White Coat Waste Project and its over 2 million supporters applaud Administrator Wheeler and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for unveiling the most comprehensive and aggressive plan in U.S. history to cut wasteful animal testing, a move supported by a supermajority of Americans from all parties,” said Anthony Bellotti, president and founder of 2-million-member taxpayer watchdog White Coat Waste Project. “The Trump Administration has shown outstanding leadership to curb unnecessary taxpayer-funded animal tests and this development at the EPA is another remarkable win for animals, taxpayers, industry and the environment.”
The effort would potentially allow for the evaluation of “more chemicals across a broader range of potential biological effects, but in a shorter time frame with fewer resources,” Wheeler stated. Manufacturers of chemical pesticides must register their products with the EPA and provide test results likely to affect humans.
“Scientific advancements exist today that allows us to better predict potential hazards for risk assessment purposes without the use of traditional methods that rely on animal testing,” continued Wheeler.
Humane organizations have praised the EPA’s decision to move away from animal testing and have long been promoting the initiative.
In 2016, the Obama administration took the first steps towards stopping animal testing after passing the Toxic Substances Control Act that requires the EPA to reduce their reliance on mammal testing.
Scientists have criticized the elimination of animal testing however, stating that information could be limited and could be detrimental to humans.
Chemical companies are in support of moving away from animal testing. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for chemical companies, but denies any communication between himself and the companies.
Whatever the reason, the EPA ending animal testing will reduce the suffering of animals in labs and better protect health and the environment.
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