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JRC's role in advancing safety assessement science with innovative, non-animal tools

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Oct 12, 2012
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The role of the JRC in international efforts to develop new toxicology tools and thinking has been highlighted by Prof. Maurice Whelan at a European Parliament workshop held in Brussels this week

Participants to the workshop (hosted by a MEP) included scientists, MEPs, representatives of international organisations, research centres and the industry. The discussion focused on several aspects of the wide international consensus and cooperation on new technologies and approaches that provide alternatives to using animal testing.

Whelan (Head of Systems Toxicology Unit in JRC-IHCP, Responsible for EURL ECVAM, the EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing) observed that the new EU framework programme for R&I Horizon 2020 should be supporting a safety assessment paradigm that is knowledge-driven rather than observation-driven. This paradigm must rely 'on understanding toxicity rather than simply observing its effects'.

Whelan also mentioned the key role of EURL ECVAM, ideally placed to provide an organisational hub and scientific reference point for the growing community working on new safety assessment methods and implementing the '3Rs' (Replace, Reduce, Refine animal testing) in toxicology.

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