Newswise — The SOT 2019–2020 Presidential Chain has released the following statement in response to the US Environmental Protection Agency Memorandum released on September 10, 2019, with the Subject Line “Directive to Prioritize Efforts to Reduce Animal Testing”1:

Toxicologists are at the forefront of research and studies designed to determine the possible health and environmental effects of biological agents, chemicals, and compounds. The information generated serves as the basis for determining the conditions under which drugs, chemicals, and products can be safely used. Scientists rely on a variety of methods to determine safety and always strive to use the methods that are most predictive of human, animal, and environmental health. This involves both emerging technologies and animal models.

While supportive of reducing, refining, and replacing the use of animals in science, the Society of Toxicology (SOT) cautions the US EPA and other agencies to remain flexible in their policies and language regarding the funding of toxicological research used for safety and risk assessments. Studies that provide consistent, reliable, and accurate data regarding the health and environmental effects of biological agents, chemicals, and compounds should be funded, recognized, and used in decision-making—regardless of the technology or model involved.

The toxicology community is committed to finding the best and most humane, as well as reproducible, methods for determining how chemicals and other factors influence public, animal, and environmental health outcomes. SOT encourages the US EPA to weigh the reliability of results as strongly as the method used to garner the data while funding and evaluating research.


Founded in 1961, the Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization of more than 8,000 scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing the great variety of individuals who practice toxicology around the world. SOT is committed to creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science and increasing the impact of toxicology. The Society promotes the acquisition and utilization of knowledge in toxicology, aids in the protection of public health, and has a strong commitment to education in toxicology and to the recruitment of students and new members into the profession. For more information about SOT and toxicology, visit the Society online at and follow SOT on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.


1. US EPA Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler memorandum to the Associate Deputy Administrator, General Counsel, Assistant Administrators, Inspector General, Chief Financial Officer, Chief of Staff, Associate Administrators, and Regional Administrators. September10, 2019. “Directive to Prioritize Efforts to Reduce Animal Testing.” Accessed September 10, 2019: