Norfolk, Va. An original article by scientists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) evaluated acceptance of Other Scientifically Relevant Information (OSRI) by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the agency's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) in lieu of requiring new testing on animals and found it to be low and at times inconsistent. The findings are published online in an "early view" edition of the journal Birth Defects Research Part B: Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology.
"The analysis we performed clearly suggests that the EPA did not utilize OSRI to the greatest extent possible to avoid duplicative data collection and reduce the number of animals," said Patricia Bishop, one of the authors and a research scientist at PETA's Regulatory Testing Division. "As there is extensive information available for the first chemicals to be testedand for many that will be slated for future testingthe EPA must support and develop explicit guidance for the use of OSRI and standardize and clearly articulate its own evaluation procedures to avoid duplicative testing and the loss of thousands of animal lives."
The EDSP is a two-tiered testing program. Tier 1 consists of five in vitro and six in vivo tests that explore the potential of a chemical to interact with the estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormone systems and uses 595 animalsat minimumper chemical if the entire battery is performed. Positive chemicals from Tier 1 presumably proceed to Tier 2, consisting of multi-generation reproductive and developmental toxicity studies in mammals, fish, birds, and amphibians, for further testing. Tier 2 assays are extremely animal-intensive. For example, the bird assay requires hatching of a minimum of 800 birds while the fish and amphibian assays each use thousands of animals per test. The EPA indicated that, prior to requiring new Tier 1 testing, it
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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals