Innovations Pave the Way for Reduced Animal Testing

Taiwanese researchers have developed 102 alternative testing methods, potentially reducing animal testing by 60%, announced National Science and Technology Council Minister Wu Tsung-tsong.

The methods aim to ensure the safety of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and cosmetics without relying heavily on animal testing, thus protecting animals and maintaining product safety.

The government established an inter-ministerial platform in October 2022 to tackle this issue, involving seven ministries and various agencies. This platform leverages Taiwan’s strengths in semiconductors, generative artificial intelligence, and expertise in biomedicine and agriculture.

The alternative-testing project, expected to continue until 2027 with annual funding of NT$200 million (US$6.15 million), has already shown promising results. For instance, biomimetic skin cells now replace rabbits in tests for irritants and corrosive materials. This approach is also faster, reducing a typical pesticide toxicity test cycle to four days.

National Cheng Kung University researchers have collaborated with 25 companies to streamline research processes, reducing resource wastage and experimental repetition.

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