Support Needed to Establish Nonprofit Organization to Address the 3Rs
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Every year in the U.S. tens of millions of animals are used and killed in experiments to test industrial chemicals, drugs, pesticides, cosmetics, food additives, and many other products. However, using animals to understand human biology often fails, resulting in mild to severe adverse reactions, and even death. The scientific value of animal experiments at the regulatory level has been in question for more than a decade. In 2007 the National Academy of Sciences, through the National Research Council, published a groundbreaking report titled Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and Strategy, in which they state that the goal of toxicity testing should be to move away from the current animal-based approach and toward modern, non-animal testing methods in the quest for better public health. This Capstone explores the strengths and weakness of establishing a nonprofit organization with the sole function of collaborating with scientists and organizations across the life sciences from industry, academia, funders, and regulatory authorities to address the aforementioned issues. The goal is to help manifest the 3Rs vision (to reduce, replace, and refine animal use) in the U.S., bringing the number of animals used in toxicological experiments down while improving public health. The author recommends the establishment of a nonprofit organization because momentum is needed to address the public health ramifications of continued reliance on animal experiments and the time is now to tackle the problem of unreliable testing. Paul Weinstein reviewed this paper.