Obama Signs Law To Minimize Animal Testing -- Chemical Toxicity To Be Tested By Alternate Methods, Mandates New Law

Alap Naik Desai

President Barack Obama signed a new chemical safety law that aims to reduce and eventually phase out the testing of chemicals on animals.

Obama on Wednesday signed into law a bill that aims to overhaul the decades-old system which was used to test chemical substances for their toxicity. The Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act (LCSA) includes a groundbreaking condemnation of animal testing and mandates agencies to seek out and follow alternative testing methods that do not require animals.

The Toxic Substances Control Act was signed in 1976, and it essentially mandates testing of chemical substances for their toxicity. Moreover, it allows testing the chemicals on animals and rate their toxicity based on the reactions.

Unfortunately, the new law only deals with regulations governed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and not than the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reported Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society. However, similar to the user fee agreements that the FDA levies, the TSCA reform allows EPA to collect up to $25 million in fees each year.

The reform has given the EPA two years to create and implement a plan promoting the development of alternative testing methods. In other words, the EPA will now have to start cataloging toxicity testing methods that do not depend on animals as their "guinea pigs," shared Crystal Schaeffer, the outreach director for the American Anti-Vivisection Society.

"TSCA reform will not only spare hundreds of thousands of animals from enormous suffering, but will also encourage the continued modernization of chemical testing and the development of alternatives."

[Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images]