EPA Needs to Replace Animal Tests with Alternatives

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to eventually reduce and replace the use of vertebrate animals in its chemical safety testing program and is seeking comments on its strategic plan to meet that goal. This is the accumulation of decades of work by dedicated organizations and activists, so it’s important to keep the momentum going by supporting EPA’s effort to replace animals with alternative testing methods.

Tens of thousands of animals, particularly mice, rats, and fish, could be spared from lethal dose tests and suffering in other tests measuring corrosivity, irritancy, carcinogenicity, and developmental toxicity.

The biggest hurdle was overcome in June 2016 when Congress endorsed this approach, passing the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which called for the modernization of chemical testing required by the 40-year-old Toxic Substance Control Act. It specifically requires EPA to “reduce and replace…the use of vertebrate animals in the testing of chemical substances or mixtures.”

You can help create meaningful, lasting change for animals! Tell the EPA that you support its effort to replace the use of animals with alternatives in chemical safety tests, and encourage them to move as quickly as possible.

Comments regarding this issue must be submitted to the EPA via the Federal Register. You may copy and paste the sample letter below or write your own comments. Directions are below the sample letter. Comments are due by April 26.

SAMPLE LETTER

Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
RE: Docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0559

As someone deeply concerned about animal welfare, I am submitting comments regarding the EPA’s “Strategic Plan to Promote the Development and Implementation of Alternative Test Methods” (Docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0559).

I appreciate the agency’s efforts to replace and reduce the use of animals and to modernize chemical safety testing. I agree with the EPA’s commitment to promoting “New Approach Methodologies” (NAMs), or Alternative methods. The required list should be as inclusive as possible and updated regularly to ensure quick adoption of methods that avoid animal testing.

Animal testing has been shown to be deeply flawed and I am confident that use of NAMs will help provide a better understanding of how chemicals affect the human body and the environment.

EPA’s proposed “Strategic Plan for Developing and Implementing Alternative Test Methods” is a fair start to a long overdue transition of chemical evaluation away from animal testing. By continuing to prioritize cooperation and communications with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including animal protection organizations, the agency will advance more quickly on a path to progress.

Thank you for your consideration of these comments.

DIRECTIONS

  • To submit comments to EPA, go to this link.
    It will say:
    “You are commenting on The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Other: Memo authoring the opening of a comment period for this docket.”
  • Scroll down and write your comments (or copy and paste from the sample letter) in the box.
  • Scroll down and click “Continue.”
  • Review your comments on the “Your Preview” page. Then check the box where it says, “I read and understand the statement above.”
  • Click “Submit Comment.”
  • “Your comment was submitted successfully!” page will appear. Scroll down to see “Your Receipt” and “comment tracking number.”
  • You’re done! Thank you for taking action to help animals in labs!