First Lush Prize Winners Announced
Researchers receive top prize
A team of scientists will today receive the first Lush Science Prize at an award ceremony in London tonight.
The group from a multi-national research team from the European Commission's own in-house science service will be awarded £50,000 for their pioneering work on non-animal product safety testing.
Prof. Maurice Whelan, a member of the winning team and head of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) said: "My Institute and EURL ECVAM are fully committed to putting 21st century toxicology principles into practice in the development, validation and application of modern non-animal methods. Thus we're absolutely delighted to receive such recognition and we intend to use the prize money to further our work in the area."
The new annual Lush Science Prize, a joint project between the global handmade cosmetics company and Ethical Consumer magazine, is designed to bring forward the date when ingredients for cosmetics and household products are no longer tested on animals.
Rob Harrison from Ethical Consumer said: “This award marks a significant moment when campaigners join forces with the scientific community to bring forward the day when animal testing becomes a thing of the past. The winners have produced a key piece of the jigsaw puzzle that represents our understanding of the human response to chemicals.”
The Lush Prize is designed to reward groups or individuals working in the field of cruelty-free scientific research, awareness-raising and lobbying to help bring an end to animal testing.Its £250,000 annual prize fund – the biggest prize in the non-animal testing sector – seeks to focus pressure on safety testing for consumer products in a way which complements projects already addressing alternatives to the animal testing of medicines.
A key part of the prize is to reward 'outstanding contributions' to 21st Century Toxicology – a new approach to chemical testing which is exciting campaigners, industry and regulators around the world. Using recent advances in fields such as genetics and computer science it is expected that it will soon be possible to give greater predictive accuracy of the toxicity of a substance than could be achieved using animal testing.
Dr Gill Langley, a former Government advisor and a member of the judging panel, said: "The study of liver toxicology is very important in safety testing. The winning team's research produced some key novel results and their work is right in the centre of animal-free toxicology.”
Every year, it is estimated that more than 100 million animals including rabbits, mice and rats are used in testing laboratories around the world.
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