Lush Prize


Thursday 15th November 2012

FIRST LUSH SCIENCE PRIZE MARKS BREAKTHROUGH FOR NON-ANIMAL CHEMICAL SAFETY TESTING


A multi-national research team from the European Commission's own in-house science service will today receive the first £50,000 Lush Science Prize at an award ceremony in London for their pioneering work on non-animal chemical safety testing.

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.

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.”

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.”

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."

Every year, it is estimated that more than 100 million animals including rabbits, mice and rats are used in testing laboratories around the world.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

1 The award ceremony is being held at 7.30pm, Thursday November 15th 2012 at

The Yard, 89 Worship Street, Shoreditch, London EC2A 2BF

2 The following people will be available for interview at the event:

Milena Mennecozzi – leader of the winning research team

Mark Constantine – co-founder of Lush

Rob Harrison – editor of Ethical Consumer magazine

A photograph of Milena Mennecozzi is also available

3 More details on the prize-winning research carried out by Milena Mennecozzi, Brigitte Landesmann, Georgina Harris, Roman Liska, and Maurice Whelan at the European Commission-Joint Research Centre-Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (EC-JRC-ICHP), in Ispra, Italy is available from:

http://ihcp.jrc.ec.europa.eu/our_activities/alt-animal-testing

and http://ihcp.jrc.ec.europa.eu/our_activities/alt-animal-testing/jrc-scientists-develop-high-throughput-liver-toxicity-screening

4 As well as Dr Langley, other scientists on the Judging Panel include:

    Lisbeth E. Knudsen – professor in Toxicology at the University of Copenhagen

    Dr Hajime Kojima – the Director of the Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods.

    Dr Kelly BéruBé – Director of the Lung and Particle Research Group at the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University

5 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.

www.lushprize.org

www.lush.co.uk

6 Launched in 1989 Ethical Consumer is the UK's leading ethical and environmental magazine.

In each issue Ethical Consumer examines the ethical and environmental record of the companies behind everyday products and services from bread to banks.

PRESS ENQUIRIES

Call Katy Brown or Rob Harrison on +44 161 226 2929 0796 9086136

katy[@]lushprize.org