In an article published on February 7, 2019, European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) announced the launch of the 2018 “status report on the development, validation and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods and approaches.”
Valerie Zuang, the lead author of the report, noted that “we have made a lot of progress in reducing the reliance on animal testing for safety assessment.” Maurice Whelan, head of the JRC’s European Union Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM), added, however, that “transitioning away from animal testing in fields such as safety assessment and biomedical research has to be done progressively and responsibly to balance ethical concerns with societal needs.” This is because “we still lack convincing non-animal approaches that can address the more difficult scientific and regulatory questions.” An example of one such complex challenge is “how alternative methods alone can be used to fully understand if a chemical might contribute to a complex systemic health effect such as cancer or heart disease,” a question that is currently being tackled by the EU-ToxRisk project (FPF reported), among others.
JRC (February 7, 2019). “Finding alternatives to animal testing – going for the win-win-win.”
Emma Davies (February 28, 2019). “EURL Ecvam reviews EU alternative test training.” Chemical Watch
Zuang, V., et al. (2018). “EURL ECVAM Status Report on the development, validation and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods and approaches (2018).” JRC Science for Policy Report doi:10.2760/818599 (pdf)