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November 22, 2016

National Assembly Forum to discuss the importance of alternative method to animal testing in chemical management

Forum will be held at 2pm on November 24th at the National Assembly

Humane Society International

Humane Society International is organising an Assembly Forum, hosted by members of National Assembly Okju Song, Mihyuk Kwon and Jeonae Han, to discuss more effective and scientific approaches of adopting animal alternative test for chemical management. Lush Korea sponsored the forum, which will be moderated by Professor Jaehak Park at Seoul University, who is also an advisor for the Korea Society for Alternative to Animal Experiments and the National Assembly Animal Welfare Forum.

Various fields use chemicals, including industrial products, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Each law requires a different safety assessment, mostly using animal testing. With Korea’s Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals (K-REACH) coming into effect in 2015, use of animals for testing will increase.

Existing animal testing methods, developed in the 1940s and 1950s, are outdated and a number of studies have shown the scientific limitations of using animal testing for human products.”

You can help: Become a Lab Animal Defender.

Due to these problems in animal testing, Humane Society International is working with governmental agencies from around the world to adopt modern science. Alternative methods, like using donated human cells, tissues and organs or tissue-engineering and modern biotechnology, can overcome the limitations of animal testing.

However, in Korea, governmental bodies don’t cooperate in chemical management, causing a delay in adopting non-animal testing methods and wasteful duplicate research in safety assessment.

This Forum will discuss how Korea can improve effective communication in adopting international guidelines and cooperation among chemical management authorities, including the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety’s Korea Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods and Rural Development Administration. During the Assembly’s inspection hearing in September, Ms. Song questioned the Minister of Environment about the duplicate spending in the government budget in adopting international guidelines due to the lack of communication between Ministries. The Minister answered “… though (we are) trying to adopt more alternative methods since 2016, it is not active. With the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and the Rural Development Administration, we will try to expand our policy efforts to support alternative approaches.”

The speakers include:

  • Troy Seidle, HSI: “3R best practices in EU and US chemical regulations: opportunities for Korea?”
  • Hennicke Kamp, BASF: “Use of alternative methods for K-REACH: best practices & lessons learned from EU-REACH.”
  • Kyungmin Lee, Ehwa Woman’s University: “Validation management system and status of GLP in Korea, and Sangbum Koh, Alternative Testing Center “Introduction and role of KTR Alternative center.”

The discussion panels will be joined by officials from the Ministry of Environment, National Institute of Environment Research, Korea Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods, Rural Development Administration and National Institute of Agricultural Sciences.

Troy Seidle, director of research and toxicology for HSI, said: “We thank the National Assembly Members for supporting advancing science without suffering. It is ever more important that Korean government work together towards harmonising testing regulations with international recommendations and actively supporting 21st century modern science for both animals and humans”.

The Forum will be held at 2pm on November 24th at the National Assembly. Interested parties are all welcome to participate in the Forum and share opinions for discussion. For further enquiries about this Forum, HSI Korea Policy Advisor Borami Seo can be contacted at bseo@hsi.org. 

Media contact: Borami Seo, bseo@hsi.org

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