The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA's) shellfish monitoring programme has successfully completed a move away from tests using mice for the detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and lipophilic toxins in commercially harvested shellfish.
The phasing out of animal testing in the shellfish monitoring programme has been a long-term goal of the FSA.
Without an approved alternative method available, tests on mice had previously been the most suitable way of detecting toxins in shellfish.
However, the FSA and Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science) have spent a number of years developing alternative testing methods that do not rely on mice.
The FSA has written to local authorities today informing them of the final phase of changes to its monitoring programme, which took effect from May 2012.
The Humane Society International/Europe has welcomed the news that the UK’s Food Standards Agency has ended all animal testing to screen for shellfish toxins.
“Humane Society International applauds the UK Food Standards Agency for being proactive ahead of the 2014 deadline and replacing animal testing for shellfish with methods that are at the cutting edge of safety testing,” said Troy Seidle, director of research and toxicology for HSI Europe. “Mice used in these tests can die one of the most agonising deaths imaginable, many of them suffocating as the toxins starve their lungs of oxygen. These tests are unreliable as well as unethical, so there is now no excuse for other EU member countries to delay better protecting consumers by also switching to superior animal-free tests.”
- Evian's first new bottle since 1999
- Nestlé invests €44m in Spanish Nescafé factory
- Federal hires John Oliaro as operations manager