Target: Researchers at the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture
Goal: Thank these scientists for their work in developing an alternative substance to measure the eye irritancy of chemicals.
Researchers in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries have long relied on a test for toxicity to the human eye called the Draize test, which involves immobilizing an animal’s head and neck and dropping a substance contained in household or personal products into one of its eyes, then documenting changes and evaluating damage to the animal’s cornea, iris, and conjunctiva. This process can take weeks for a single test, and these tests have resulted in the torture of thousands of rabbits every year in the name of cosmetics production.
Recently, however, scientists at the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences have developed a substance that has a 90% chance of reproducing the findings from previous Draize tests (demonstrating their high unreliability), by growing human corneal cells on an ultrathin sheet of collagen. According to Toshiaki Takezawa, head researcher on the project, “We developed a novel human corneal epithelium (HCE) model by three-dimensionally culturing HCE-T cells (a HCE-derived cell strain) in a collagen vitrigel membrane chamber.” Tests were performed by leaving chemicals on the collagen sheets for three minutes, and then evaluating damage to the cell population. The team says their results indicate that “the widespread eye irritancy of chemicals can be predicted without false-negatives by the Vitrigel-EIT method,” meaning that this quicker, humane test allows for the elimination of cosmetic and household product testing on animals on the grounds of cost-effectiveness and efficiency besides animal rights violations.
By signing this petition, you are applauding the dedication of this team of researchers to solving real-world issues, including those surrounding current processes of testing for the toxicity of chemicals to the human eye. You are thanking them for acting on the realization that other animals should not have to suffer for the betterment of homo sapiens. You are congratulating them on the fruits of a successful research effort.
Dear Toshiaki Takezawa and the developers of the Vitrigel-EIT method at the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences,
Your recent development of the Vitrigel-eye irritancy test method has fantastic implications for the future of animals as test subjects. By producing this new test using lab-grown cells from human eyes, you are actively declaring the inhumane Draize tests relics of the past. The efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the Vitrigel-EIT method provides the solution that animal abuse apologists in the cosmetics industry need to ditch animal torture. Your brilliant innovation will provide an economic impetus for reluctant corporations to finally do away with animal testing in all cosmetics and household products.
Thank you for your tireless work on this new method of eye irritancy testing. Thank you for dedicating your time to helping to free animals from the torture and indignity of being used as subjects for testing the toxicity of chemicals to the human eye. Thank you for your research into alternative methods of testing on human cells.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: PETA via Wikimedia Commons