Post — 10 Min Read

US EPA Calls For Aggressive Reduction of Animal Testing

On the 10th September 2019, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Administrator Mr Andrew Wheeler signed a new directive to prioritise efforts to reduce and eliminate animal testing across the United States of America.

It follows on from an address he made in March this year where he highlighted the EPA’s commitment to move away from animal testing completely.

“To aggressively pursue a reduction in animal testing, I am directing leadership and staff….to direct existing resources toward additional activities that will demonstrate measurable impacts in reduction of animal testing….”

During the announcement he acknowledged that scientific advancements that exist today allow for accurate prediction of potential hazards without the use of animal testing. The new approach methods used in the future will include methodologies, technologies, and alternative approaches that will replace the requirement for having animals used as part of any clinical or safety trials.

Highlighted within the directive are specific commitments that will ensure the EPA’s work will make a significant difference to the landscape of animal testing. These include:

  • To reduce the requests for and funding of mammal studies by 2025
  • To eliminate all mammal studies by 2035
  • To exclude, within legal boundaries, any reliance on animal studies by third parties from its approval process after 1st January 2035

Mr Wheeler accepted that whilst progress has been made up to now, the EPA could and should be doing more to end animal testing across the United States. The use of animal testing is expensive and time consuming, and nowhere close to being accurate or acceptable in today’s terms. By making the investment and changes now the United States can meet the 21st century commitments it has made.

“Through scientific innovation and strategic partnerships, we can protect human health and the environment by using cutting-edge, ethically-sound science in our decision-making that efficiently and cost-effectively evaluates potential effects without animal testing.”

What does this mean for Labskin & Labskin AI?

The directive has set out a standard that all industries will be affected by; most noticeably perhaps by the chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. It underpins the fact that ethical testing is no longer a lifestyle-choice but a legal requirement in the processing and manufacturing of new products.

In Europe, the EU Medical Device Regulations were amended from the 1st July 2019 to further tighten the rules surrounding product claims. The new rules ensure that all claims are truthful, substantiated and legally compliant. Animal-testing was once a major source of information for manufacturers but the swing in global awareness from governments, industries and consumers mean that ethical alternatives such as Labskin are now leading the way.

The Labskin testing method uses our full thickness human skin equivalent for testing cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Labskin can be colonised with skin microflora and mimics the real human skin biome culminating in real world results. It looks, feels and behaves just like human skin. By cloning the human skin cells to create multiple testing samples from one donor it reduces the number of human test subjects required and completely eradicates the need for animal testing on a product – exactly what the EPA’s directive is calling for.

Labskin AI or Labskin as a service also offers a wide-ranging depository of knowledge with research and predictive analysis related to skin for industry and academia, assisting those who are now faced with finding alternative and ethical ways to test for potential hazards.

References:

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/administrator-wheeler-signs-memo-reduce-animal-testing-awards-425-million-advance
https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-09/documents/image2019-09-09-231249.pdf
https://www.labskin.co.uk/new-eu-device-regulations/