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Senate passes landmark legislation to reauthorize the Toxic Substances Control Act

Bill will severely restrict animal testing

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund commend the U.S. Senate for giving final approval to H.R. 2576, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which strengthens federal oversight over the use of tens of thousands of chemicals in commercial use and contains provisions to minimize and in some cases replace animal testing to evaluate chemical safety. Following months of negotiations, Congress came to final terms on reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to modernize the scientific approach to chemical testing. The TSCA reform bill calls for quickly identifying chemicals that are most likely to pose health problems, and focusing resources on testing them more thoroughly. It also prioritizes the research and development of new testing methods and requires the use of existing validated alternatives to animal testing where available.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, said: “This bill will dramatically upgrade protections for people from dangerous chemicals, but it will also save hundreds of thousands of animals from having harsh chemicals rubbed into their skin, forced down their throats and dropped in their eyes. These reforms improve the science behind chemical testing, require better safety decisions to protect the environment and human health, and reduce the terrible suffering animals endure through dosing them with these poisoning substances. By minimizing animal testing and focusing on the use of faster, cost effective, and more reliable testing methods, private companies and the federal government can save lives, time, and money.”

The groups thank Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., David Vitter, R-La., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Ranking Member Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., for their strong leadership and support of the anti-animal testing language in their version of the bill.  President Obama has already signaled he will sign the legislation.

“The enactment of this TSCA reform legislation is one of the signature animal protection achievements of this Congress,” added Pacelle.

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