Limit Animal Tests in TSCA Reform Bill, 39 Democrats Say

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May 13 — Dozens of House Democrats are asking that language to reduce animal testing be included in legislation the House and Senate are negotiating to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act.

A group of 39 Democrats wrote a letter May 13 to Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, asking him to support the Senate-approved legislative language designed to reduce the use of animal-based toxicity tests in chemical safety assessments.

Pallone's office did not reply to two phone calls and two e-mails May 13 from Bloomberg BNA.

The letter addressed ongoing House and Senate negotiations to reconcile their separate TSCA-reform bills: the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576) and the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Originally numbered S. 697, the Senate bill passed as an amendment to H.R. 2576.

Negotiations to reconcile the bills continued May 13, aides in key House and Senate committees told Bloomberg BNA. Legislators repeatedly have said the talks are nearly complete (40 CRR 549, 5/16/16).

The Senate bill would direct the Environmental Protection Agency, as it implements the new chemical safety law, to “minimize, to the extent practicable, the use of vertebrate animals in testing of chemical substances or mixtures.”

House Bill Silent

The Senate bill also would require the EPA, as it reviews the safety of chemicals, to consider data from sources including:

  •  existing toxicity studies;
  •  emerging types of toxicity tests such as computer-based toxicity predictions and automated cell-based toxicity assays;
  •  phased-in testing strategies;
  •  the formation of industry consortia that jointly conduct testing; and
  •  new types of tests as they are developed and found to be scientifically reliable and relevant.

 

The House bill is silent on animal testing issues.

The animal welfare language is among the outstanding issues not yet reconciled by House and Senate negotiators, the Humane Society said May 13.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Rizzuto in Washington at prizzuto@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

For More Information

The Congressional animal welfare letter is available at http://src.bna.com/eZm.