In September, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a plan to reduce and eventually eliminate its reliance on animal testing to assess the danger of chemicals. Currently, the EPA performs, or requires chemical companies to perform, tests on rabbits, mice, rats, and fish to assess chemical toxicity. The EPA has committed to a 30 percent reduction in its funding of, and requests for, toxicology studies involving mammals by 2025, and to cut out nearly all such studies by 2035 (after 2035, chemical safety tests on mammals will require EPA administrator approval on a case-by-case basis). To achieve these goals, the EPA has awarded $4.5 million to five universities to help develop new non-animal methods, such as in vitro testing or computer modeling. These alternative methods often require fewer resources, are able to evaluate more chemicals in a shorter time, and are as good or better at predicting toxicity compared to current animal models.
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