In a September 17 news release, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a draft science policy to reduce testing of pesticides on birds when registering conventional outdoor pesticides. The draft policy is open for public comment until November 1. The news release is available at https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-releases-draft-policy-reduce-pesticide-testing-birds. The draft policy can be found at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-09/documents/draft-waiver-guidance-avian-sub-acute-dietary.pdf; email comments to OPPeco@epa.gov.
This document describes the results and implications of a retrospective study conducted by EPA and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The study explored the quantitative and qualitative contributions of risk assessment methods using single oral dose and subacute dietary toxicity endpoints to the overall conclusions of acute avian risk. The analysis indicated that, in most cases, the subacute dietary results had little impact on risk conclusions arrived upon by use of acute oral data alone. This finding is expected to reduce the number of animals tested by a total of 60 birds per test, for a total projected animal savings of over 700 animals per year.