A new article by scientists at Unilever, a corporate member of the HTPC, describes several areas of safety science in which they are using a pathway-based approach to replace traditional animal tests with a combination of human cell-based in vitro assays and computational models. The article, “Toxicity testing – non-animal approaches and safety science” (by Fiona Reynolds, Carl Westmoreland and Julia Fentem) is included in the current issue of The Biochemist: “Replacement in Research” (Vol. 36(3), June 2014).
HTPC is co-sponsoring an important training program coordinated by the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) and Humane Society International (HSI), to introduce Chinese scientists and regulators to non-animal methods for cosmetics testing. As part of the program, scientists will receive hands-on training in state-of-the-art in vitro methods that replace traditional tests on rabbits and guinea pigs.
Organized through China’s Guangdong Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, HSI and the IIVS’s training aims to help fill this knowledge gap, making the option to move away from animal testing a practical alternative. China’s consumer and science sectors have much to gain from such a transition – animal toxicity tests are some of the least scientifically credible methods still in use. Indeed, when you consider the scale of uncertainty associated with some of these approaches, it’s astonishing that in so many countries and across so many sectors we’re still gambling consumer safety on methods that were devised in the 1940s.
Read more about the program in this article by Troy Seidle (HSI).