Why are animals still used for safety testing?
Consumer products, medicines, and industrial and agricultural chemicals must be adequately tested in order to identify potential health and safety hazards. U.S. regulatory agencies that require or use toxicity test data are responsible for protecting human and animal health and the environment. To carry out this mission, agencies require that all toxicity test methods used for regulatory purposes are based on sound science and are able to adequately identify hazards. Human and animal responses to toxicants are complex, and difficult to accurately assess using only in vitro systems or computer models. The term in vitro refers to experiments performed in laboratory containers, such as test tubes or petri dishes,with living tissues, organs, or cells obtained from animals or people. No single in vitro test method is currently available to serve all regulatory needs for a specific testing area. Rather, integrated approaches using alternative test methods, conventional animal testing, and ot