The Animal Testing Rules

by Patrick Appel

A reader writes:

I am a contractor for the federal government. I work in an area where testing guidelines are discussed on a daily basis. Make sure we don't blame the companies for animal testing. They are just following the rules.

Literally every first-world environmental agency mandates a "non rodent sub-chronic toxicity test" for almost every chemical that passes through their doors. They use dogs because they have a similar metabolic rate to humans. The use of dogs (Beagles are assumed at this point), is spelled out in the regulation. You can get around the test by proving via rodent testing that the chemical/product in question is so toxic that performing the test on the Beagles serves no purpose, but that does not happen a majority of the time.

Now, if people do not want the products they use daily (and whose safety they take for granted) tested, then by all means, lobby your gov't official to change the federal laws mandating that these tests be conducted.

The ironic flip side of this is that if a product says "no animal testing" on the label, you can be almost assured that it has has minimal government testing to assure that the chemicals in it are safe.