PETA Europe Calls On Eu To Replace Animal Tests In Massive, Deadly Programme

Group Cites Unreliability of Experiments That Will Blind, Poison or Cause Cancer in Tens of Millions of Animals

For Immediate Release :
13 December 2006 

Contact :
Karen Chisholm 020 7357 9229, ext 229

Brussels – With final adoption of the EU’s massive testing programme of 30,000 suspected hazardous chemicals taking place today in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, PETA Europe is calling for animal tests to be replaced with modern alternatives before the first testing deadline. An estimated 20 million animals are slated to be used and killed in painful and outdated tests over the next 10 years. The Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals legislation (REACH) calls for dripping chemicals into rabbits’ eyes, applying irritants to the skin of guinea pigs and forcing animals to ingest toxins.

Although pressure from PETA Europe and other organisations has succeeded in reducing the number of animals to be killed, the group wants the European Commission to develop a strategy to replace all animal tests – based on both humane and scientific grounds. Difficulties in extrapolating from non-human animals to humans and from laboratory doses to real-life exposures mean that animal testing fails at the most basic level. Furthermore, while the proponents of REACH demand validation of all non-animal testing methods, the fact is that many animal tests – including the rodent cancer tests that the EU plans to conduct – have never been scientifically validated.

The rodent cancer test is dangerous for humans because chemicals that are safe in rodents can be life-threatening for humans. The test often produces false-positive and false-negative results, making it incapable of guaranteed results even when the same chemical is tested twice in the same species.

“As it currently stands, REACH is cruel, outdated, and, because of its lack of reliability, downright dangerous to the health of Europeans”, says PETA Europe Director Poorva Joshipura. “Poisoning and blinding tens of millions of animals in a futile attempt to make humans safer is not only barbaric, it’s also bad science.”

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