According to news sources, a new, non-animal skin testing method will be submitted to the European Union (EU) Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM ), the organization that officially approves methods for chemical testing required by European government regulation.

Developed by Michigan-based CeeTox, Inc. and funded in part by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA ), the non-animal testing method uses a 3-dimensional, human-derived skin model that evidently can accurately replicate key traits of normal human skin, thus replacing the need to use guinea pigs or mice. Although non-animal tests and tests that reduce the use of animals are required by some European regulations and encouraged in many countries, no formally validated and regulatory adopted non-animal tests to identify compounds that cause “skin sensitization,” reportedly exist. See PETA News Release, August 6, 2013; Bloomberg BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter, August 12, 2013.

Meanwhile, EURL ECVAM has issued a request for public comments on its latest recommendations concerning two alternative test methods, the Direct Peptide Reactivity Assay and the Cell Transformation Assay. Comments will be accepted until September13, 2013.