The Animal Welfare Act regulates how animals may be used in laboratories, and how they must be cared for. It is the ONLY federal US law regarding such issues.
The FDA does have certain efforts devoted to finding new ways to test products. For example, in 1997 the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) and the National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM) were formed in order to research, among other things, ways to reduce animal testing.
Well, The Humane Society of the United States “considers animal-based toxicity studies to be an ethically and scientifically questionable means of evaluating potential hazards to human beings, wildlife, or the environment we all share.” They basically focus on eliminating testing on animals altogether and to find alternative testing methods. Overall, testing products on animals is considered extremely unethical, and many organizations are working hard at finding alternative methods for testing for the safety of products.
The FDA has ruled that drugs have to be animal tested before they will be approved for use on humans. It is widely aknowledged that animal testing in some instances is a complete waste of time, but in order for the drug to pass the FDA approval, it must first be tested on animals. Drug companies comply to this rule because they have no choice.
In AMA surveys of active doctors 97% support continuous animal testing. It is the position of the AMA and these doctors that animals are orders of magnitude better simulations of people than computer programs. Additionally, FDA regulations require all cosmetic products to be tested on animals. When products are marketed as “not tested on animals” it only means that all ingredients have long since been animal tested or in the case of new ingredients companies either lie and perform animal testing or establish shell organizations to do the animal testing. The FDA requirement for animal testing of cosmetics stems from a 1933 incident in which a woman was blinded by an eyelash product.
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