OPP’s process for alt approaches to traditional in vivo acute toxicity studies
Author: Jessica Sandler, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
PETA is pleased that the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) has taken the next step in establishing a process for accepting alternative approaches to animal testing when evaluating pesticide toxicity by releasing a draft document entitled “Process for establishing & implementing alternative approaches to traditional in vivo acute toxicity studies” for public comment. OPP lays out an approach whereby alternative methods of testing for acute oral, dermal, and inhalation toxicities, along with skin and eye irritation and skin sensitization – also known as the “six-pack studies” – may be evaluated and eventually accepted for use in a regulatory context. This approach formalizes a process facilitated last spring by PETA and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine with CropLife America and the EPA to investigate the feasibility of replacing in vivo acute studies with non-animal assays for testing pesticides. The document signals the EPA’s official commitment to participating in and supporting this ongoing process.
One of the agency’s stated goals for alternative testing is “reducing the use of laboratory animals in regulatory testing.” An estimated 7,400 animals are currently killed to satisfy data requirements for each pesticide active ingredient.