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House Negotiators Urged to Include Provisions to Reduce Animal Testing in Final Toxic Substances Reform Package

(May 13, 2016) — As final discussions wind down on critical legislation on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform package, commonly known as The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, 39 House Democrats wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-NJ, and urged him to incorporate all elements of the Senate-passed language on animal testing. The provisions would improve the science behind chemical testing, encourage better safety decisions to protect the environment and human health, and reduce the use of animals and the terrible suffering they endure through dosing them with these poisoning substances. The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund strongly support the language, which unanimously passed the Senate in December.

"Each year, tens of thousands of animals are killed to test industrial chemicals, including those found in common household products," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. "These animals suffer terribly as harsh chemicals are rubbed into their skin, forced down their throats and dropped in their eyes. This breakthrough bill would help make chemical testing smarter, faster and more reliable for regulatory decision-making and protect animals’ lives. We have extraordinary bipartisan support for this provision, along with support from animal welfare groups and the chemicals industry, and we hope that hold-out lawmakers accede to the overwhelming sense of their colleagues that a strong policy requiring the use of alternatives to animal testing where available makes good sense."

The New Jersey congressional delegation’s roots run deep on TSCA reform. The bill was named for former U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, the House negotiations are co-led by Pallone and the Senate language on animal testing was spearheaded by U.S. Senator Cory Booker.

The final requested changes ensure that existing information is used before more animal testing is requested; that tests that also replace, and not just reduce, animal tests are considered; and finally, that industry consider non-animal approaches when performing voluntary testing prior to submitting an application to EPA. It is also in line with the chemical regulation policies of foreign governments, such as the European Union.

The core elements of that language have the broad support of Senate Democrats and Republicans and also the Environmental Working Group, Environmental Defense Fund, Consumer Specialty Products Association, American Chemistry Council, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Humane Society Legislative Fund, and The Humane Society of the United States.

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, stwining@hslf.org, 301-258-1491

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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.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at humanesociety.org. Subscribe to Wayne Pacelle’s blog, A Humane Nation. Join The HSUS on Facebook. Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.