In its latest opinion, EFSA’s Scientific Committee has reviewed the currently available methodologies for the replacement, reduction and refinement of animal testing used in the risk assessment of chemicals and microbiological agents that are added to food and animal feed. It concludes that whilst internationally validated and accepted protocols are available for these alternative methods in some areas of mammalian toxicology (e.g. tests for acute toxicity, skin irritation/corrosion/sensitization and severe eye irritation), finding suitable alternatives has proved more difficult in areas involving complex end-points (e.g. repeated dose, reproductive and developmental toxicity testing). However, the use of integrated testing and risk assessment strategies (such as tiered approaches to testing, structure-activity relationships and read-across from toxicity data on structurally related substances), should reduce the number of animals needed to ensure product safety.

[Scientific Opinion of the Scientific Committee. “Existing approaches incorporating replacement, reduction and refinement of animal testing: applicability in food and feed risk assessment”. Adopted on 8 April 2009. The EFSA Journal 2009, 1052, 1. The document is available (via on the website of the European Food Safety Authority.] {182345}

The above item was taken from the August 2009 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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