From an email sent this week by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:
“In a proposed rule, Sunscreen Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use, FDA will require cancer tests which expose animals to very high doses of the sunscreen ingredients every day for two years, and other tests giving these chemicals to pregnant and lactating animals. The tests involve spreading chemicals on immobilized animals’ shaved skin every day. FDA may also require tests which involve force-feeding and injecting chemicals into the animals’ bodies. Following the testing, the animals would be killed and dissected.
“Despite the fact that these tests would kill tens of thousands of animals, FDA doesn’t mention whether it is even taking any steps to minimize the number of animals that would be used or to use data already available. This is at odds with recent FDA statements that the agency seeks to reduce and replace animal tests wherever possible.
“The animal tests won’t make sunscreen products safer and may delay the approval of newer, more effective sunscreen ingredients. FDA should require human-relevant, nonanimal tests that evaluate a chemical’s potential to damage DNA, increase cell growth, activate hormones, and suppress immunity. When combined with what is already known about a chemical, such tests provide useful information that can better protect consumers from harmful ingredients.
“After commenting, please share this alert with your friends and social networks. We need as many people as possible to voice their opposition to these tests.”