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In My Opinion: The Future of Safety Testing Labs

By: Rich Ulmer
Posted: August 7, 2007, from the August 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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An additional benefit of in vitro testing is that any anxiety produced in regulatory reviewers’ minds regarding an irritating cosmetic or shampoo marketed product is minimal. Nothing very serious in the way of side effects is likely to happen from an irritating cosmetic or other similar product. Thus, in vitro test methods that spare animals from being tested upon are definitely approvable and worth the risk.

In summary, if I owned a safety testing laboratory, I would plan to investigate the new opportunity of in vitro testing methods for skin and eye irritation sooner than later. If I have existing test volume with any cosmetic or toiletry products and/or the chemicals that go into these products, I must protect the business I have. If I have not yet served these markets, this is also my chance to develop the core capability to do so. My options are performing the tests myself, to ally myself with an in vitro testing firm or simply to offer the outsourced service as a vendor partner. My investigation will show that at least one in vitro testing methods firm offers a low investment, low cost, technically straightforward technology of decades-proven accuracy that allows me to get in on the ground floor of this paradigm shift. And if I currently operate an animal testing-only firm, I can very likely increase my testing service margins while also gaining market share. The shift is a win-win situation for businesses, consumers and animals everywhere.