U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Announces Further Plans to Reduce Animal Use in Acute Toxicity Testing

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) today released an open letter to stakeholders describing recent progress in and reaffirming its commitment to significantly reducing the use of animals in acute toxicity tests (the “6-pack” studies) required for pesticide registration. The agency also issued final guidance on its approved process for establishing and implementing alternative approaches to traditional in vivo acute toxicity studies and is seeking public comment on a draft policy to waive acute dermal toxicity tests performed on animals for pesticide formulation registrations. Details of this announcement can be found here.

OPP has been working in partnership with PSCI scientists, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to achieve the mutual goal of reducing and replacing animals used to determine the hazard classification and labeling of pesticide products. OPP already has a policy in place that allows for the use of alternatives to the Draize rabbit test to evaluate the eye irritation potential of antimicrobial cleaning products (and other pesticide products on a case-by-case basis). OPP is currently investigating the use of in vitro skin sensitisation assays to replace animal tests, among other efforts.