Victory! FDA Modernization Act Ends Animal Testing Mandate
Thanks to thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters who spoke out multiple times, we are welcoming a hugely significant step forward for animals in labs with the FDA Modernization Act 2.0 being signed into law. This finally ends an 80-year-old requirement for animal testing in the development of new drugs and biosimilars, which are copies of original medical products.
Our initial alert in April 2022 asked you to urge your representative in the House to support H.R. 2565 to eliminate cruel, unnecessary, and wasteful testing on animals for the research and development of new drugs by passing the FDA Modernization Act of 2021. Thankfully, they did so as part of a larger package of bills called the Food and Drug Amendments of 2022 on June 8, 2022.
Our next alert asked our supporters to urge their senators to make the newly numbered bill H.R. 7667 The FDA Modernization Act 2.0 become law. On September 29, 2022, it passed in the Senate by unanimous vote.
In November, we asked our supporters to contact the House of Representatives to support the FDA Modernization Act 2.0 (S.5002), and you did not disappoint.
Finally, in December, federal lawmakers passed the FDA Modernization Act 2.0 as part of the federal omnibus spending bill and it was then signed into law by President Biden. The act was led by the bipartisan efforts of Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker and Representatives Vern Buchanan and Nancy Mace.
The FDA Modernization Act 2.0 will eliminate animal-testing requirements for the development of drugs, allowing drug manufacturers to opt out of animal testing while utilizing modern testing methods to develop drugs, such as cell-based assays, organ-on-a-chip technology, computer models, and other human biology-based test methods. This spending bill also includes a provision dedicating $5 million for a New Alternative Methods Program designed to reduce animal testing.
Every year, millions of terrified animals are subjected to agonizing tests in laboratories to develop drugs. These tests involve exposing animals to new drug formulations including all of the ingredients used, to observe the results over both short and long-term studies. Testing on animals to develop new drugs is cruel, wasteful, and unnecessary. While millions of animals suffer and die in labs, over 90% of drugs that are deemed safe and effective in animal studies fail in human clinical trials. The National Institutes of Health wastes $12 billion every year on research that does not lead to the development of new treatments for humans.
Unfortunately, animal tests will still be allowed under the FDA Modernization Act 2.0, but this law is a tremendous step toward ending animal testing in its entirety. Our goal will now be to campaign against drug manufacturers and urge them to choose animal-free testing methods.
We’re grateful to all of you and to all of the other animal advocacy organizations that worked hard for this victory.