What They Are Saying: EPA Wraps Up Second Annual Conference on Animal Testing Alternatives and Reduction Strategies
WASHINGTON (October 20, 2020) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrapped up the Second Annual Conference on the State of the Science on Development and Use of New Approach Methods (NAMs) for Chemical Safety Testing . After hearing from more than 15 experts on a wide range of scientific advancements in the NAMs field, the event highlighted advances in the development of NAMs and addressing their limitations, case studies, updates on strategies identified in EPA’s NAMs Work Plan and progress on incorporating NAMs under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). These annual conferences are one of EPA’s commitments set forth in Administrator Andrew Wheeler's 2019 Directive to eliminate the use of mammals in chemical testing by 2035.
Here’s what stakeholders and elected officials had to say about the event:
Representative Ken Calvert (CA-42), Co-Chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus: “I want to thank EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and everyone involved with the second annual conference to discuss animal testing alternatives and reduction strategies. Reducing the use of animals in testing is a win for taxpayers and a win for animals.”
Sara Amundson, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund: “EPA took another significant step this week to evaluate the role of New Approach Methods (NAMS) to implement Administrator Wheeler’s previous commitment to end reliance on mammalian animal testing by 2035. It’s notable that scientific rigor coupled with regulatory uptake are being prioritized from the outset to ensure NAMS pass muster and are actually used by industry and recognized by the regulators. The Humane Society Legislative Fund and Humane Society of the United States applaud the agency for progressing with a plan to improve the science for risk assessments, while also making it more humane.”
Anthony Bellotti, President and founder of taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project: “Under Administrator Andrew Wheeler's visionary leadership, the EPA has made history with its bold plan to end animal testing and its ongoing efforts--including this conference series--to aggressively implement this policy change to benefit animals, taxpayers, industry and the environment. For these outstanding efforts to cut wasteful and cruel animal testing, we were proud to recently honor Administrator Wheeler with our first-ever Greenbaum Policy Pioneer Award.”
Clemens Wittwehr, Project Manager at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre: “Reducing the number of animals used for scientific and regulatory purposes is a global goal. Regulators across the world should therefore be able to share reliable non-animal data to a large extent. To facilitate transnational exchange of trustable NAM‑derived data, an internationally agreed reporting standard is certainly essential. The OECD reporting template “OHT 201” – as presented in the conference – has strong potential to foster mutual acknowledgement of NAM data, which will ultimately accelerate the global uptake of non‑animal methods.”
Dr. Avi Ma’ayan, Director of Mount Sinai Center for Bioinformatics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai: “The EPA’s New Approach Methods (NAMS) initiative to reduce animal testing is timely because there are rapid advancements in methods to collect and mine non-animal data about chemicals’ potential toxicity. With less animal testing, these new approaches can increase safety and provide faster results at lower costs.”
Amy Clippinger, Vice President of regulatory testing at PETA: “The EPA has taken a leading role in developing, vetting, and sharing information about replacing tests on animals with new approaches that better protect humans and the environment. Drawing upon real-world experience and collaborative case studies, the EPA's second annual NAMs conference highlighted recent progress and illuminated the path forward toward the advancement of robust animal-free testing approaches.”
Dr. Andrew White, Science Leader Computational Toxicology at Unilever U.K. Central Resources Limited: “The conference provides an excellent opportunity to update on the current state of the science, and its use in decision-making by applying non-animal approaches for Next Generation Risk Assessment (NGRA). We welcome the EPA taking the lead in bringing together the new methods within an evolving regulatory environment for chemical safety. Open engagement, collaboration and a willingness to change is necessary to build trust amongst all stakeholders, and to meet the exciting challenges of novel sustainable materials innovation in the 21st century.”
To learn more about the agency’s efforts to reduce animal testing, visit: https://www.epa.gov/nam.