I'd seen that the D.C. Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section was going to put on a seminar back in December called "Alternatives to Toxicity Testing in Animals: What a Changing Regulatory Landscape Will Mean for Lawyers, Scientists, and Animal Activists." Although it looked interesting, I didn't get to attend because it was in D.C. and conflicted with some other things I had scheduled. Fortunately, the audio from the conference has been placed online and is available here via the Environmental Law Institute. The purpose of the seminar was to discuss the National Academy of Sciences' report “Toxicity Testing in the Twenty-First Century: A Vision and a Strategy," according to this blurb:
This summer, the National Academy of Sciences released its report “Toxicity Testing in the Twenty-First Century: A Vision and a Strategy.” Commissioned by EPA, the report advocates sweeping and transformative changes in regulatory toxicity testing. It envisages a shift from the current whole animal-based testing systems to testing founded primarily on in vitro methods that evaluate changes in biologic processes using cells, cell lines, or cellular components. This change is expected to generate more robust data and expand capabilities to test chemicals more efficiently. It is also expected to improve animal welfare and substantially reduce (and ultimately eliminate) the use of whole animals in toxicity testing. Applying twenty-first century toxicology to regulatory testing creates challenges and opportunities for scientists, risk assessors, environmental attorneys, and animal advocates. At this seminar, panelists examined this report, the vision it sets forth, and the forces bearing on its implementation.