Joining forces for the replacement of animal studies in food sciences

Background

There is a global call from regulatory and public authorities and also from animal welfare stakeholders, urging academic and industry laboratories to find alternatives to ensure that animal testing is reduced and only used when necessary.

Objectives

This unique transversal and multi-stakeholder Task Force aims to:

  • review the recently developed methods and build a consensus on how and what is needed to reduce animal testing in food and beverage development;
  • provide evidence-based science and evaluate potential strategies and approaches that ultimately could replace animal testing in food sciences;
  • communicate and disseminate the opportunities for alternatives in the food and drink sector.

Impact

  • The Task Force is fostering a change in attitude across the food industry and authorities towards non-animal approaches.
  • The Task Force is widely disseminating its outputs and results in international meetings and congresses.

The objective is to engage with a unique transversal and multi-stakeholder group to debate and find out alternatives to animal testing in the fields of food safety, nutrition and efficacy studies.

Upcoming

A new activity will kick-off by the end of 2020 aiming at identifying the ethical and scientific constraints for the use of vital human material to improve translational research. It would ultimately contribute to the transition to animal-free science in the food and drink sector.
A session on ‘Challenges of Non-Animal Approaches for Food Safety & Nutrition in the 21st Century’ will take place at the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in Life Sciences, happening in August 2021 in Maastricht (The Netherlands).

Expected results

The two first publications of the Task Force will propose new approaches to develop alternatives to the use of animal testing in the food & drink sector. These results will be widely disseminated at relevant conferences.

Joint workshop on ‘Alternatives to animal testing in the food sector in Asia’ with ILSI Japan in October 2021, Yokohama (Japan). This international event will give an overview of the situation worldwide and raise awareness of the need for non-animal approaches in the food & drink sector.

For more detailed information, please contact Lucie Geurts at lgeurts@ilsieurope.be or Belinda Antonio at bantonio@ilsieurope.be

Task Force Members

Expert Groups

Holistic Approaches to Develop Alternative Strategies that do not Rely on Additional Animal Testing – Completed

Background & Objectives

During the last decade, a shift in the mind-set of experts in toxicology and related sciences has been noticeable, moving towards a science which is no longer only based on deterministic whole-animal approaches.
However, the different nutrition and food safety stakeholders are not yet aligned on when animal studies are mandatory or when they can be replaced by alternative approaches.
Moreover, there is clear lack of available approaches to replace animal tests.
This activity aims at identifying existing approaches that can be applied within the current regulatory frameworks, still addressing the scientific issue whilst avoiding the use of animals.

Output

This project will identify existing tools and approaches which are not reliant on generating data in animals to address those requirements.
The results of this activity were shared with national and international authorities during a workshop on 6-7 September 2018, Brussels (Belgium).
The outputs of this activity will continue to be disseminated via peer-reviewed publications and at international congresses.

Expert Group Members

Holistic Approaches to Develop Alternative Strategies That do not Rely on Additional Animal Testing – Completed