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Lawmakers, Advocates Call to Protect Animals From Harsh Chemical Testing

WASHINGTON (Oct. 6, 2015) – At a Capitol press conference, supporters of chemical safety reform urged Congress to pass the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S.697). The bipartisan bill would overhaul the nation's chemical safety law, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, and contains language that will replace the use of animals for testing chemicals for toxicity in risk assessments. It supports cutting-edge computational toxicology and other alternative methods and strategies that are faster, more predictive of human risk and often less expensive than animal testing.

The proposal is named for the late Sen. Lautenberg, who long pushed to reform TSCA, which turns 39 on Oct. 11. The bill has the support of 60 senators from 38 states and is ready for a vote. Participants wished TSCA an "unhappy birthday" and urged Congress not to let TSCA turn 40 without being reformed.

Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, states: “We have an opportunity to revolutionize the way chemicals are tested, which will provide the foundation to end animal testing in the long run while increasing public safety. We commend Senators Udall and Vitter, both determined animal advocates, for actively supporting efforts to insert critical language to make animal testing a last resort, and Senator Booker for championing 21st century science and animal protection. With 60 bipartisan cosponsors, we urge leadership to bring the bill to the floor as soon as possible.”

Others in attendance included:

  • Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.
  • Sen. David Vitter, R-La.
  • Bonnie Lautenberg, widow of former Sen. Frank Lautenberg
  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.
  • Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.
  • Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.
  • Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.
  • Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
  • Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.
  • Sen. David Vitter, R-La.
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
  • Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund
  • Collin O'Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation
  • Cynthia Pellegrini, senior vice president for public policy and government affairs for the March of Dimes
  • Dr. Neal Barnard, president of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
  • Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council
  • Jennifer Thomas, senior director for Federal Government Affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
  • Anna J. Wildeman, policy counsel and committee executive on environment and agriculture for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Ross Eisenberg, vice president of energy and resources policy for the National Association of Manufacturers

Media Contact
Samantha Miller: 301-258-1466; smiller@humanesociety.org

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The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at hslf.org, on our blog at animalsandpolitics.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund.