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Animal alternatives

At the end of 2015, the EU’s flagship Framework 7 programme on alternative methods for animal testing drew to a close. Eloise Johnston takes stock.

In 2009, the European Commission launched a call for the Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal Testing consortium, providing €25 million under Framework 7. With match-funding from the industry body Cosmetics Europe, the goal of Seurat-1 was to find alternatives to the use of animals in repeated-dose toxicity tests, which determine whether a substance will cause harm after repeat exposure.

Some who were close to the Seurat-1 consortium are positive about its outcomes. “There were a lot of different scientists from different disciplines spread throughout Europe and also outside Europe,” says Derek Knight, senior scientific adviser at the European Chemicals Agency and a member of Seurat-1’s advisory panel. “Considering how complex it was, it worked very well.”

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