EPA Will Eventually Eliminate Chemical Testing On Mammals

A recent news report says that US Environment Protection Agency will ban use of all types of mammals to carry out tests of harmful chemical over a period of time in a phased manner. During the first phase there will be 30 percent reduction by 2025 and by 2035 all such studies will be halted. Some approvals may be granted on case to case basis at a later stage. The agency has also announced that it will give a grant of $4.25 million to a medical center and four universities that will develop new testing methods to check effect of chemicals without using animals.

According to EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler who announced these steps in a detailed memo, both human health and environment can be protected by using latest scientific methods to efficiently evaluate potential effects of chemicals without testing them on animals. EPA had for long pushed for test of new chemical on several small and large animals like dogs, birds, fish and rats to access their toxicity levels. Actual percentage of tests on animals has not been provided by EPA so this shift in policy was welcomed by animal rights groups.

But the move was objected by scientists and environmentalists that said that tests on mammals are necessary for protection of humans. President and CEO of Humane Society of US expressed happiness at this decision as the group has been pressing for such a step for a long time. She said future technical alternatives will be more effective and not harm anyone. Environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council says that animal testing will still be required to check chemicals as petri dish cells cannot replace entire living systems. Calling the EPA deadline as arbitrary the group stated that their vote still lies with animal testing as it prevents harmful chemicals from becoming part of food, air and water.

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