The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) launched “Tail of Toxics,” a three-minute video that explains how cutting-edge technologies such as robots make animal experimentation unnecessary when testing for consumer products.
According to PCRM, which represents more than 10,000 physicians, testing on robots that utilize human skin cells will lead to more accurate results, and eliminate the need to subject animals to unnecessary and cruel experiments.
“From cleaning products to industrial chemicals to makeup, current safety testing methods put people and the environment at risk,” says toxicology expert Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., the Physicians Committee’s director of regulatory testing. “But there is a scientific revolution taking place with new tools that will bring major benefits.”
Animals are used to test for the safety of many chemicals found in everyday products, but these tests are unreliable. “We shouldn’t have to wonder whether the chemicals in our homes and the environment are safe,” Sullivan says. “Many aren’t tested adequately because animal tests take too long and don’t reliably reflect human systems. Humans are not 70-kilogram rats, but today we assess chemicals as if we were.”
Aside from the fact that animal testing is an unreliable way to test for toxicity in humans, animals who are used in toxic testing are almost never given any form of pain relief, and experiments are performed while animals are still alive and fully conscious. Studies have shown that animals experience fear, pain, and are capable of feeling empathy towards other animals who are suffering, which makes animal testing a cruel and inhumane way to make sure the next new cosmetic, or cleaning product is safe for humans.
A shift away from animal experimentation took place in March, when United States Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) introduced the Humane Cosmetics Act, a landmark bill to ban the testing of cosmetics on animals. Also, the unreliability of the results gathered from testing on animals has led experts at the National Academy of Sciences to recommend a complete shift away from animal experimentation.
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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: courtesy of Janet Stephens