Swallow, Inhale, Apply, Inject: The LD50 Test is Poison

The Rise for Animals Team, March 20, 2024

We’re back in National Poison Prevention Week – the days of the year during which educators and medical professionals seek to prevent the poisoning of humans and companion animals . . . while ignoring that companion (and other) animals are trapped inside laboratories for the purposes of being poisoned by humans.

For over 100 years, animals have been intentionally and routinely poisoned to test “consumables” (such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics).

These “acute toxicity” tests have taken and take many horrendous forms, but one of the most well-known – and, therefore, most contentious – is the Lethal Dose 50 (or LD50) test.

The LD50 test forces substances into animals – through their mouths, noses, veins, or skin – to find out what “dose” will kill at least 50% of them. 

The LD50 test continues to be used for the purpose of “estimating the potential hazards of chemicals on humans” even though scientists themselves both know and admit that the test’s “relation to humans is only a guess”. 

But this is nothing new. The test has remained “usually the first test conducted for every chemical before further toxicity tests are carried out” despite scientists challenging and outright refuting the test’s veracity – for decades

For example:

  • In 1973, a scientist with expertise in toxicology called the test “‘a ritual mass execution of animals.’”
  • In 1981, a scientist reported that, “‘[a]t one company a substance produced such variable LD50 figures in different animals that the toxicologists had no idea what the effects of the substance might be on humans at all, and had to resort to trying a small dose on some volunteers from the staff.”
  • In 1982, animal research industry trade groups (yes, those same groups that rabidly support and defend animal research!) published on the test’s shortcomings and stated that the test is not “‘scientifically justified’”.

Not only do the results obtained from the LD50 test “vary greatly from species to species and from laboratories to laboratories”, but an ethical, animal-free, human-relevant toxicity test already exists.

XCellR8 has created and internally validated the AcutoX test, developed specifically “to replace” the “hideously cruel” and “scientifically irrelevant” LD50 test. 

Yet, the animal research industry keeps on torturing and killing animals. Not only that, but when challenged, industry players deflect blame for the test’s continued use by pointing to the FDA, which continues to accept (as valid!) results from LD50 tests and drag its feet on embracing progressive, ethical, and human-predictive science. 

So, this National Poison Prevention Week, please take action to prevent the poisoning of anyone by supporting the FDA Modernization Act 3.0, a federal bill seeking to force the FDA to support non-animal research methods . . . just like AcutoX.

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