|Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Update
On December 17, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host its first annual conference to discuss alternative test methods and strategies to reduce animal testing. This conference will take place in Washington, D.C. The public can register to participate via webinar at: https://register-for-epa-2019-nams-public-webinar.eventbrite.com.
EPA’s conference will bring together some of the leading voices in environmental and health research to discuss efforts to reduce testing on mammals. Specifically, the conference will focus on the New Approach Methods (NAMs) and will feature presentations by U.S. and international scientific experts on advancements in the field. On-site participants will have the opportunity to exchange information about scientific advancements in the NAMs field in order to develop a better understanding of the state of the science, discuss approaches for developing scientific confidence in using alternatives, and summarize existing studies characterizing the uncertainties in results from animal testing.
EPA’s conference is an important step in implementing Administrator Wheeler’s commitment in his “Directive to Prioritize Efforts to Reduce Animal Testing.” Issued in September 2019, the directive announced EPA’s efforts to aggressively pursue a reduction in animal testing. In his directive, Administrator Wheeler calls for the agency to reduce its requests for, and funding of, mammalian studies by 30 percent by 2025 and eliminate all mammalian study requests and funding by 2035. Any mammalian studies requested or funded by EPA after 2035 will require administrator approval on a case-by-case basis. The directive also champions scientific advancements that allow scientists to better predict potential hazards for risk assessment purposes without using traditional animal testing methods.
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. Just last week, EPA updated the list of NAMs that it developed pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the 2016 Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act. The agency will continue to lead the way among federal agencies in the United States and internationally.