The Botulinum neurotoxin LD50 test – problems and solutions

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Apart from the fact that the LD50 test is generally considered a procedure causing severe distress, which alone should result in its immediate deletion, it also conflicts with the EU wide ban on cosmetic testing in animals in the case of Botulinum Neurotoxin (BoNT) testing. The European Pharmacopoeia monograph allows for the use of three alternative methods provided they are validated. However, these alternative assays are neither implemented by the manufactures of BoNT products nor are they enforced by the responsible authorities, e.g. by deleting the LD50 from the European Pharmacopoeia. The number of animals used for the testing of BoNT is not officially recorded. However, data from an undercover investigation allow the estimation that the number of mice used in LD50 tests for BoNT products is greater than 600,000 per year worldwide.  

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Bitz, S. (2010) “The Botulinum neurotoxin LD50 test – problems and solutions”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 27(2), pp. 114–116. doi: 10.14573/altex.2010.2.114.
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