For Immediate Release:
9 July 2020
Dr Ankita Pandey; [email protected]
Hiraj Laljani ; [email protected]
PETA India Scientists’ Advice Prompts Inclusion of Strategies to Minimise Testing on Animals
New Delhi – Following input from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India scientists, the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department of Biotechnology and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare have released their “Guidelines for Evaluation of Nano-Based Agri-Input and Food Products in India“, which include provisions for minimising testing on animals for the safety evaluation of nano-based products for the agri-input and food sectors of India. The new guidelines are expected to spare the lives of many animals every year.
Nanomaterials are tiny – not even as thick as a sheet of paper or a strand of hair – which means their properties may differ greatly from bulk materials. Regulatory agencies require testing of nano-based products for potential toxicity.
PETA India scientists recommended that data from in vitro methods and in silico models be combined with existing information, physico-chemical properties of the test material, exposure conditions, and mechanism of action to design integrated approaches for testing and assessment in order to evaluate nano-based products without the use of animals.
The guidelines now encourage replacing and reducing tests on animals and considering tests on animals only as a last resort if other information cannot be used. In harmonisation with international regulations, they also accept several Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development non-animal testing methods for endpoints, such as dermal absorption and corrosion, eye irritation, and genotoxicity, for safety assessment of these products, as proposed by PETA India scientists.
“We applaud the government for modernising its guidelines to replace the use of animals for evaluation of nano-based products with more reliable, animal-free testing methods,” says PETA India Research Associate Dr Ankita Pandey. “PETA India scientists will continue to collaborate with the government to replace tests on animals with more human-relevant, non-animal testing approaches.”
Around the world every year, animals are killed in an attempt to establish the safety of nano-based products to human health and the environment. In these tests, animals are forced to consume food or water laced with a product, the substance is pumped into their stomachs, or they’re made to inhale it before being killed. PETA India scientists collaborate with other forward-thinking scientists around the world on the use of non-animal testing approaches that can more reliably protect humans and the environment, while sparing the lives of animals.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.