April 4, 2018
January 30, 2018 saw another milestone in phasing out the use of animals in drug and chemical safety testing. The National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency program headquartered at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), issued a “Strategic Roadmap” detailing plans involving 16 federal agencies to provide more human- relevant toxicology data while reducing the use of animals.
The Strategic Roadmap lays out an effective framework for employing new technologies, such as high-throughput screening, tissue chips, and computational models, that will modernize safety testing to use the latest technologies in place of outdated animal tests.
Yet only a few days later, when the NTP put out the “final” results of its massive ten-year, $25 million animal study to assess the safety of cell phone radiation on rats and mice, CAARE was shocked to learn that the NTP plans to expose and kill yet another 300 animals to continue a study that has become notorious for its inconclusive, confusing and inapplicable results.
Please use the above form to contact NTP with your polite letter calling for the immediate termination of plans to kill 300 more animals for the study on cell phone radiation safety.
NTP’s experiments have already sickened and killed some 3,000 animals. In a basement laboratory in Chicago, rats and mice were locked into chambers resembling microwave ovens, where they were exposed to whole body cell phone radiation for nine hours a day over two years, at levels that far exceed any current human exposure. Pregnant animals were included so that exposure could be studied for the period before birth. At the end of the experiment, all the animals were killed to study their tissues and organs.
What scientists learned from this study is still being hotly debated. While some animals developed tumors, most were considered statistically insignificant. One category of tumor that may be significant showed up only in male rats.
Inconclusive animal data such as these NTP findings are frequently disregarded when assessing human health concerns. For example, the National Cancer Institute has compiled a detailed fact sheet that discusses predominantly human data from a dozen, large-scale epidemiological studies to address the risk from cell phone usage.
Clearly, NTP’s plan to use an additional 300 animals for this cell phone study violates the goals and intents of the newly announced Strategic Roadmap.
While the NTP has taken an important step toward reducing animal tests, plans on paper are meaningless unless they are put into action. NTP must start now, by immediately eliminating plans to kill any more animals for these cruel and failed studies.
Thank you for sending your letter today!
Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research (CAARE), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established to highlight and promote research without animals.
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