Animal Research & Testing
Altria and its companies take animal research seriously and understand the sensitivities involved in the use of animals in scientific research. That is why we first review the existing scientific literature and conduct various non-animal tests as part of our process. As a result, the majority of our scientific research does not involve laboratory animals. In the instances when such tests are necessary, we apply the findings as broadly as possible in an effort to decrease the number of future studies involving laboratory animals.
We actively support the development, validation, use and regulatory acceptance of non-animal testing methods to minimize the use of animal tests. This includes discussing with regulators the opportunities for fulfilling data requirements without using animals and collaborating with external experts or scientists working on developing alternatives to animal testing relevant to the products of Altria’s tobacco operating companies. However, there are some instances when animal research is necessary, including when the work may be needed to meet regulatory requirements.
Currently, draft guidance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration related to development and premarket authorization of potentially lower risk products for adult tobacco consumers lists animal, in vitro and ex vivo studies as options by which these products may be evaluated.
In situations where animal testing is necessary, we are committed to the responsible care and use of laboratory animals. This research is conducted in accordance with laws and standards for animal use and care including, where applicable, the Animal Welfare Act and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. In addition, we only use accredited and scientifically qualified laboratories to conduct animal research. Accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International* (AAALAC) is one of the criteria our companies consider when selecting scientifically qualified laboratories.
*AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs.