LONDON--The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group of 12,000 doctors, is a recipient of the 2017 Lush Prize for its lobbying efforts to affect the enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. The law took effect in June 2016, overhauling the Toxic Substances Control Act, which covered U.S. chemical regulation. Under the new law, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and chemical companies are now required to use available nonanimal alternatives first, before requiring or conducting animal tests. The EPA is also required to create a strategic plan to replace and reduce animal tests, provide incentives to use non-animal alternatives, and report regularly to Congress on its progress.
"The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is the culmination of a decade of work by the Physicians Committee and our partners to require the EPA to better protect human health and the environment by reducing and replacing animal tests," says Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., vice president of research policy for the Physicians Committee. Sullivan will attend the Lush Prize Awards Ceremony in London this evening to accept the award on the organization's behalf.
The Physicians Committee has worked to educate Congress on the importance of improving chemical testing since 2007, when the National Academies of Sciences released the groundbreaking report Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy. This report called for modernizing the toxicity testing and assessment of chemicals using nonanimal, human-relevant approaches.
The Lush Lobbying Prize is awarded to exceptional groups or individuals who have worked to influence policy to replace the use of animals in testing with alternative methods. The award prize totals 50,000 British pounds and will be shared by the Physicians Committee, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Humane Society Legislative Fund. The Lush Prize acknowledges efforts to end or replace animal testing, with up to 350,000 British pounds awarded across multiple categories.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.