Friday, March 18, 2011

Korea Joins Effort to Reduce Animal Testing of Chemicals - Find Alternative Methods

Europe has one (ECVAM), the United States has one (ICCVAM), and now Korea has one (KoCVAM).  Last week the Republic of Korea (i.e., South Korea)'s Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (KoCVAM) officially joined a collaborative effort to find alternative chemical test methods.  The international agreement, the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM), "was officially created in April 2009, when an agreement was signed between validation bodies from Europe, USA, Canada and Japan." 

The goal of collaboration is to develop and validate chemical testing methods that reduce, or preferably eliminate, the need for live animals (i.e., in vivo methods).  The non-animal methods (in vitro) can include any number of tests ranging from excised tissues, artificially grown tissues or cells, and genetic methods, as well as computer generated structure activity relationship (SAR) modeling.  The formal addition of KoCVAM to the agreement, it's fifth member, occurred during the 50th annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology in Washington DC.

With REACH entering its next stage, which includes review of proposed testing plans from the first registration deadline, and new chemical control efforts in Korea, Turkey, Switzerland and (maybe) the United States, a great deal of effort is being made to find alternatives to traditional animal testing.  REACH specifically encourages the use of non-animal methods such as QSARs, in vitro, ex vivo, and read-across from data available for related chemicals. 

For more information.

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