PETA donates $1million to help find animal testing alternatives

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Skin, People for the ethical treatment of animals

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has provided more than $1m in donations to research laboratories in order to aid development of cost-effective alternatives to animal-based testing methods.

This move follows two new grants awarded to researchers and aims to benefit chemical and personal care companies with non-animal methods.

"Funding research for non-animal testing methods is one of our most vital campaigns,"​ says Jessica Sandler, director of PETA's Regulatory Testing Division.

Further grants

Through the McGrath Family Foundation of San Diego, which supports PETA's efforts to replace animals in laboratories with modern alternatives, PETA has given a $62,000 grant to the International QSAR Foundation to support the acceptance of an alternative to carcinogenicity testing for drug development, cosmetics ingredients, and chemical testing.

In addition, PETA UK, one of PETA's overseas affiliates-is giving a $130,000 grant to CRO CeeTox for the validation of a non-animal skin allergy test that is commonly used to test cosmetics.

PETA claims that in the current animal tests, 32 to 80 guinea pigs or 16 to 60 mice have chemical substances repeatedly smeared onto their skins or injected into their bodies.

Among PETA's previous grants was support for the validation of a non-animal skin irritation method that was subsequently accepted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and that has replaced the use of rabbits for chemical testing worldwide.

Synthetic skin option

Earlier this year, researchers from Ohio State University explored one of the options to finally drive animal testing out of the cosmetics industry, by replacing animal skin with synthetic skin.

The research suggested that currently available types of synthetic skin may now be good enough to imitate animal skin in laboratory tests, and may be on their way to truly simulating human skin in the future.

Researchers compared the response of synthetic skins to rat skin when they were both exposed to a generic skin cream treatment, and the results indicated they both reacted similarly.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety

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