"The foolishness of politicians is always good for a laugh. But when elected officials start destroying more than their reputations, things stop being funny." So writes Politically Incorrect host Bill Maher in a recent letter to Al Gore supporters. Rock legend Paul McCartney personally implores the Vice President to respond to "compassionate people everywhere" and restructure his "high production volume (HPV) chemical-testing program" that will condemn millions of animals to painful and needless deaths.
Gore has alienated many in the environmental community with his support of commercial whaling and the weakening of dolphin-safe labeling requirements. Now, in place of regulatory action on known dangerous chemicals, he is pushing a plan to run 3,000 of the most widely used chemicals (such as turpentine and rat poison) through a variety of crude animal tests. Most of the HPV chemicals are already known to be either safe or harmful to humans and much information, both from animal studies and human exposure, already exists on them.
In order to rush the program through, Gore ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bypass normal government channels. That means there has been no public notice of the program, no peer review of the "science" behind it, no congressional oversight, and no consideration of its enormous impact on animal welfare. The HPV program largely ignores more modern, reliable, and cost-effective non-animal tests. There has been strong bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for a reexamination of the program and the incorporation of non-animal tests. The animal tests being used are so unreliable they can clear chemicals already known to be toxic. Or, when the animals in an experiment die, companies can accurately claim that the results are not applicable to humans. The program will cost millions of dollars. And it will cost millions of animals their lives.
What You Can Do
The HPV chemical-testing scheme calls for the most massive animal-testing program in our nation's history and must be changed to save millions of animals' lives. Please contact:
The Honorable Albert Gore Jr.
Please also contact your United States representative and senators as well. Tell them you want the EPA to start using non-animal tests and that congressional oversight hearings need to be held on the EPA-HPV chemical-testing program to ensure our government's decisions are made in the open, with due public notice and input.