Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) introduced the Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing (FACT) Act, H.R. 816. The FACT Act would improve reporting by EPA, FDA, NIH, USDA and other government agencies about their efforts to replace inefficient, multi-million-dollar animal tests with faster, less costly and more effective alternative methods for assessing the safety of chemicals, drugs, foods, cosmetics and other substances.
“For two decades, I have played a key role in the efforts to replace wasteful government animal tests with modern alternative tests that save significant time, taxpayers’ money and animals’ lives,” said Rep. Calvert. “The FACT Act will ensure that Congress has the information necessary to determine if federal agencies are meeting their mandates to replace expensive and unnecessary animal testing whenever possible, because evidence suggests they are not.”
The common-sense, bipartisan FACT Act amends the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) Authorization Act of 2000, which was created thru legislation authored by Rep. Calvert. The FACT Act specifies that biennial progress reports already required under the Act include details on how many animals were used by each agency and for what tests, as well as those it required in regulatory submissions. Some individual animal tests can cost taxpayers $4 million, use thousands of animals and take more than five years to complete.
Federal laws – including last year’s widely-supported amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act – require agencies to minimize animal tests in favor of high-tech alternatives like cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models. However, federal agencies do not currently report how many animals they use in testing or what they’re used for, making it impossible for Congress to assess their compliance and progress to replace wasteful animal tests.
A recent review by the non-profit White Coat Waste Project – which is endorsing the FACT Act – found that government agencies are regularly conducting hundreds of animal tests on cosmetics ingredients, foods, natural supplements, tobacco products, industrial chemicals, and drugs using mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, monkeys, and other animals.
“We applaud Congressman Calvert for introducing the FACT Act and for his outstanding work to ensure that taxpayers are not funding ineffective and cruel animal experiments,” said Justin Goodman, Vice President at the White Coat Waste Project.