Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy (NRC, 2007) presents a bold plan for chemical toxicity testing that replaces whole-animal tests with cell-culture, genetic, other in-vitro techniques, computational methods, and human monitoring. Although the proposed vision is eloquently described, and recent advances in in-vitro and in-silico methods are impressive, it is difficult believe that replacing in-vitro testing is either practical or wise. It is not clear that the toxicity-related events that occur in whole animals can be adequately replicated using the proposed methods. Protecting public health is a serious endeavor that should not be limited by denying animal testing. Toxicologists and regulators are encouraged to read the report, carefully consider its implications, and share their thoughts. The vision is for too important to ignore.
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