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Boyle Leads Letter to FDA to Save Animals From Unnecessary Laboratory Tests

June 18, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), and James McGovern (MA-02) sent a letter urging the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to modernize its current regulatory language to allow for data to be derived from nonclinical trials that do not involve tests on animals. Currently, tens of thousands of animals endure a range of taxpayer-funded testing in federal labs due to outdated regulatory requirements, despite evidence indicating that many of these tests do not accurately translate to results for human.

The joint letter requests that the FDA Commissioner modernize 90 drug development regulations by replacing mandates for ‘animal’ data with ‘nonclinical’ data. ‘Nonclinical’ includes traditional animal testing and modern human-based approaches. This language also requests the FDA create a pathway for evaluation and acceptance of in vitro and computational nonclinical approaches.

“The current FDA regulations fail to account for newer, modern approaches to drug development that do not involve animal testing", said Congressman Boyle. "Especially when animal tests often poorly predict human outcomes, there is no reason we need to require them. This letter calls for neutral language. Science has come a long way and we should let test results speak for themselves.”

In March of this year, Congressman Boyle reached across the aisle to introduce the bipartisan Animal Freedom from Testing, Experimentation and Research (AFTER) Act. The bill directs all federal agencies to develop and maintain a policy allowing for the adoption or other non-laboratory placement of dogs, cats, primates, rabbits, and other regulated animals no longer needed for research in federal labs.

In 2018, Congressman Boyle also led a bipartisan group of lawmakers probing federal agencies about their lab animal use and post-research retirement practices. One year later, in April 2019, Congressman Boyle’s efforts with other lawmakers and the non-profit White Coat Waste Project prompted the USDA to end its policy of testing kittens and adopted out 16 cats to agency staff, a first for the USDA.

A copy of the letter to the FDA can be found HERE