Three Rs principles

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Is a Compromise Possible in Russia Between Animal Advocates and Researchers Who Use Animals in Harmful Experiments?

Anatoly S. Loukianov

The current situation relating to the use of laboratory animals in Russia, which is primarily characterised by the complete absence of legislation for their protection, is examined and discussed. This lack of regulation causes well-founded protests by animal protection organisations and a number of reputable politicians. It also has a negative influence on the quality of medical and biological research results that are obtained through the use of experimental animals in Russia. The opinion is expressed that the Russian scientific community should be able to build upon the experience of other countries — in particular, members of the European Union, where there is an effective system of self-control over the ethical and legislative regulation of animal-based research. It is suggested that, in Russia, the basic animal protection principles of the Three Rs should be introduced, when the decision on whether to finance scientific projects involving the use of animals is being made.
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Eating Nanomaterials: Cruelty-free and Safe? The EFSA Guidance on Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials in Food and Feed

Ursula G. Sauer

Nanomaterials are increasingly being added to food handling and packaging materials, or directly, to human food and animal feed. To ensure the safety of such engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), in May 2011, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a guidance document on Risk assessment of the application of nanoscience and nanotechnologies in the food and feed chain. It states that risk assessment should be performed by following a step-wise procedure. Whenever human or animal exposure to nanomaterials is expected, the general hazard characterisation scheme requests information from in vitro genotoxicity, toxicokinetic and repeated dose 90-day oral toxicity studies in rodents. Numerous prevailing uncertainties with regard to nanomaterial characterisation and their hazard and risk assessment are addressed in the guidance document. This article discusses the impact of these knowledge gaps on meeting the goal of ensuring human safety. The EFSA’s guidance on the risk assessment of ENMs in food and animal feed is taken as an example for discussion, from the point of view of animal welfare, on what level of uncertainty should be considered acceptable for human safety assessment of products with non-medical applications, and whether animal testing should be considered ethically acceptable for such products.
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