North American Alternative Awards Announced

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In the Spotlight

North American Alternative Awards Announced

Published: December 19, 2008
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and The Procter & Gamble (P&G) Company bestowed the North American Alternative Awards on Dec. 18 for outstanding scientific contributions to the advancement of viable alternatives to animal testing.

This is the third consecutive year The HSUS and P&G have joined together to help eliminate animal testing for consumer product safety while ensuring marketed products are safe for consumers and the environment. This year, P&G is funding two grants of $25,000 each.

Recipient Melvin Andersen, Ph.D., of the Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C., was one of the key authors of the National Research Council’s (NRC) June 2007 visionary report calling for a paradigm shift in toxicity testing of chemicals, away from animal use and towards non-animal methods The new approach relies on modern advances in biology and technology and emphasizes human, rather than animal, biology. Dr. Andersen is a tireless promoter of NRC vision and a researcher with promising ideas on translating that vision into reality. The award will help fund this research.

The second award also supports research to advance the NRC’s vision—namely the “Tox21” program under the leadership of Christopher Austin, M.D., of the National Human Genome Research Institute, Robert Kavlock, Ph.D., of the Environmental Protection Agency and Raymond Tice, Ph.D., of the National Toxicology Program. The funds will support automated, robotic, high-volume testing of chemicals in the environment. The results from this non-animal testing will be used to develop toxicity “signatures” that help reveal how toxic a chemical is and what type of toxicity it might cause. Such information in the long run could increasingly substitute for animal testing.

Len Sauers, Ph.D., vice president of product safety, regulatory and technical relations for Procter & Gamble, explains “we believe the pioneering work of these preeminent scientists has created a promising path forward in the development of new animal free methods for evaluating the health effects of chemicals. We are pleased to be able to partner with The Humane Society of the United States in supporting this important work.”

Dr. Sauers and Andrew Rowan, Ph.D., executive vice president of The HSUS, presented the awards at a meeting at The HSUS’ Washington office.