Feds Under Fire For Horrific Animal Testing

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has lashed out at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision to resume animal testing. The Trump administration forced the agency to reduce testing on mammals, and to phase it out entirely by 2035. Those plans have now been canceled, and furious lawmakers, led by Rep. Lisa McClain, are demanding to know why.

“The EPA’s continued abuse of animals through unnecessary chemical testing is disgusting,” McClain said, adding that there is no medical and scientific benefit. The Michigan Rep. has written a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan asking for an explanation as to why the agency decided to resume animal testing and on what evidence it based that decision.

The Trump administration announced in 2019 that it would phase out testing on mammals and spend more than $4 million finding more humane ways to conduct scientific research. Then-Administrator Andrew Wheeler said computer modeling and cell testing were legitimate alternatives to animal experimentation and called for an investigation into additional options.

The animal rights groups People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society celebrated the news and announced they would work with the EPA to implement the new plans.

Many experts believe animal testing has little scientific benefit because the species are too different to provide accurate and reliable results. Aysha Akhtar, in the National Library of Medicine, wrote in 2015 that the “unreliability and limitations of animal experimentation” are increasingly understood, but some scientists insist on continuing the practice and overcoming those limitations.

Meanwhile, the EPA insists that reversing the Trump administration’s commitment is based on solid science. It said the agency relies on thousands of animals each year to assess the dangers of pesticides, drinking water chemicals, and to conduct additional toxicity studies. Some accused Mr. Wheeler of bowing to the chemical industry, which views animal testing as expensive and time-consuming, but Wheeler said his motivation was the protection of animals from unnecessary suffering.