Stop Botox Testing on Mice Now - The Petition Site

Sunday, 9 January 2011
Stop Botox Testing on Mice Now - The Petition Site

Each year worldwide millions of mice die after enduring the unbearable suffering of Botox testing, in which lethal doses of the drug are injected into groups of laboratory mice to test its potency.

Animal rights campaigners in the United States and Europe have long been urging the leading American pharmaceutical company, Allergan, which owns and markets Botox, to stop testing the product on mice, and to adopt instead one of the reliable, effective alternative tests not using animals.

The test currently used, known as the LD50 test, involves injecting the botulinum toxin type A (the active ingredient in Botox) into a group of mice in sufficient quantities to kill 50% of the animals. Millions of these tests are carried out each year. The toxin is injected into the mouse's abdomen, then researchers wait to see how many of the animals die over a period of 3 to 4 days. About 100 mice are normally used for each test, and each batch is often tested more than once. The mice are first assigned to one of various groups, and each group receives a different strength of the product in order to estimate the strength that kills half of the targeted group.

The antiquated LD50 test, first developed in the 1920's, is cruel and brutal. No pain relief is administered to the test animals, who either die immediately from suffocation after their diaphragms have been paralysed, or may languish over several days with varying degrees of paralysis before being euthanised.

U. S. and European authorities have identified a number of replacement tests NOT using animals that, once validated and adopted by drugs manufacturers, would replace the LD50 test. In contrast to the LD50 test, these alternatives apply modern technology and insights from cutting-edge research in molecular biology and immunology into the toxic effects of botulinum toxin on the organism. The two most promising alternatives are the endopeptidase assay and the neural cell-based assay, also known as "SNAP-25" tests.

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration does not specifically require manufacturers of drugs using the botulinum toxin to employ the LD50 test; rather it requires the "performance of a sensitive potency assay."

Please urge Allergan to show courage and true leadership by validating and adopting one of these humane alternatives.


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