US EPA Hosts Second Annual Conference to Discuss Animal Testing Alternatives and Reduction Strategies
Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler kicked off the agency’s Second Annual Conference on the State of the Science on Development and Use of New Approach Methods (NAMs) for Chemical Safety Testing. More than 1,000 experts from EPA, other governmental agencies, academia, and industry are gathering virtually to hear presentations about scientific advancements in the NAMs field, enabling participants to develop a better understanding of the state of the science and develop scientific confidence in alternative test methods.
“Working together, the federal government, private sector, and scientific community can have a real impact reducing the use of animal testing,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This conference shows that we can not only achieve my goal to eliminate all testing on mammals by 2035, but show leadership on the international stage and advance cutting-edge science.”
This year, the conference will:
- Highlight advances in the development of NAMs and addressing their limitations.
- Report results of various case studies on applying NAMs to EPA’s decision making and Unilever's risk assessment process.
- Summarize strategies identified in EPA’s NAMs Work Plan.
- Outline progress on incorporating NAMs under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
Over the past several years, EPA has made significant scientific advancements in NAMs and led efforts to reduce, replace and refine its animal testing requirements. EPA will continue to lead the way among federal agencies in the United States and internationally.
The public can register to participate in the virtual conference via webinar here.
To view the Administrator’s opening remarks, visit here.
In September 2019, Administrator Wheeler issued a directive calling for the Agency to reduce mammal testing and funding 30 percent by 2025 and eliminate it by 2035. In support of this directive, EPA has taken many steps since then to reduce, replace, and refine testing requirements:
- In September 2019, EPA announced $4.25 million in funding for five universities to research and develop alternative test methods for evaluating chemical safety.
- In December 2019, EPA convened a conference for achieving reduced animal testing in chemical safety research and updated its list of NAMs that could be used in the agency's work under the amended TSCA , including adding 21 new test guidelines related to health and ecological effects and six additional EPA policies that reduce the use of animal testing.
- In January 2020, EPA launched an EPA NAMs website – a one-stop shop for getting updates about our efforts to reduce the use of animal testing.
- In February 2020, EPA issued guidance waiving pesticide testing on birds when the information yielded is unnecessary to support a decision. This action is expected to save 720 test animals annually.
- In June 2020, EPA released the NAMs Work Plan, which outlines the objectives, strategies and deliverables that are important guideposts in reaching the 2035 goal. EPA also convened a meeting of the Science Advisory Board to offer advice on using NAMs to help reinvent the cancer bioassay.
- In July 2020, EPA released guidance that reduces unnecessary testing on fish in the pesticide registration process. This is expected to save 240 test animals annually.
- In October 2020, EPA released new guidance expanding the opportunity for waivers for dermal toxicity studies for pesticides, which is expected to save 750 test animals annually.
- As required under TSCA Section 4, EPA regularly maintains and updates a list of NAMs and plan to release a draft proposal for selecting which NAMs will be included on future versions of the list. This draft proposal will be released for public comment at the end of 2020 or early 2021.
SOURCE: US EPA Newsletter 19.10.2020