Cheaper, faster and accurate animal-free scientific methods could be used 2, but it wouldn’t please the chemical corporations that produce around 400,000 tons of chemical substances every year, offering a turnover of 500 Billion Euros.3
It is likely that the greatest part of these drugs and chemical products would be put off market if we were to discover their real carcinogenic (C), mutagenic (M) and reprotoxic (R) effects 4.
Tests based on humans data (cell culture, toxicogenomic, bio-informatics, etc…) won’t let any cheating or mistakes on the results where animal tests does.
As for the financial aspect of alternative methods in France, the only few bits of information the government dares to give us are several years old.
It appears that only 800 000 francs (around 122 000 Euros) has been dedicated to alternative methods between 1994 and 1997 (30500 Euros per year), compared to the tens of billion francs in animal experimentations.
Moreover, according to the Journal Official of the 1st of November 2005 there would be 434 laboratories authorized to proceed experimentation on animals. Despite several requests from different associations, the French Research Minister refuses to reveal its real numbers.
We know that on a European scale, the FP7 (PCRD in French) 5 has allocated 150 million Euros to develop alternative methods during the past 2O years.
The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) “has only developed 15 alternative methods in fifteen years, in which five are redundant, reducing it to just 10 new ones, one each year.”6
The food additives are also tested on animals before being approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Their scientific group of evaluation “includes a study of all relevant scientific tests and any data on toxicity available, including genotoxicity and human exposure, from which the scientific group draws conclusions on the security of this substance”.
Alternative tests are here described as relevant and scientifically valid, giving us hope on future animal-free experiment; moreover, it reveals how noxious the food additives can be, which abound in our products, mostly industrial:
Here is a link to a website listing all the food additives and their effects: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm