Why we need a prize

 

In the 1980s and 1990s successful popular campaigns across Northern Europe led to regulators prohibiting some types of product and ingredient safety testing on animals.  Many companies also adopted public policies against animal testing.

Unfortunately the elimination of animal tests, and even some company policies, have proved difficult to carry out in practice.  There are five main reasons for this:

  • global markets mean testing banned in one country may be required in other regions of the world
  • environmental regulations requiring the testing of older ingredients have created new pressures
  • while most people now agree that non-animal safety testing is preferable from both an animal welfare and scientific perspective, alternative non-animal tests are not emerging fast enough to replace existing animal-based methods
  • where alternative non-animal tests are emerging, the process of getting regulatory acceptance of the tests is always cumbersome and very slow
  • even where alternative non-animal tests are proven to be effective they may not be used if they are not mandatory or if toxicologists are unaware of them.

 

In other words, the problem is a complex one.  Because of this, the five categories of the Lush Prize have been designed to provide resources to projects addressing each of these areas.

The Science Prize and Young Researcher Prize are designed to advance research into alternative non-animal tests.

The Training Prize is designed to resource projects training scientists or regulators in non-animal methods.

The Public Awareness and Lobbying Prizes are designed to keep up the pressure to make sure regulation is appropriate and updated to reflect advances in 21st-Century Toxicology.

For more information about how these challenges impact on companies trying to avoid animal testing visit our sister website, home of Lush’s wider Fighting Animal Testing campaign.

 

The Lush Prize also intends to focus pressure on toxicity testing for consumer products and ingredients in a way which  complements the many projects already addressing the use of animals in medical testing.  For some of the other prizes and projects around alternative tests see www.alttox.org

 

Many current regulations and prizes are directed towards the broader idea of the 3Rs: reduction, refinement, and replacement of the use of animals in experiments.

The Lush Prize, as a project driven by animal ethics, seeks only to support projects working on the complete replacement of animal tests.

 

The Lush Prize is also choosing to concentrate resources on ‘21st-Century Toxicology‘ as a specific area of non-animal testing research which holds out the most hope for an animal-test free future.

 
Prize Partner: Ethical Consumer Research Association
 

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