The Lush Prize is a major initiative aiming to bring forward the day when safety testing takes place without the use of animals.
Frustrated by the slow pace of advancement to animal testing alternatives, the Lush founders established the Lush Prize to support the most progressive work in the field, and to have the greatest impact on their goal to end animal testing completely.
The annual fund of £250,000 – the largest prize of its kind – has been designed to provide resources to projects addressing the problem of animal testing in innovative, original ways. The major focus of the prize is to put pressure on toxicity testing for consumer products and ingredients, in a way which complements projects addressing the use of animals in medical testing.
Four key messages of the Lush Prize:
1. Animal testing is both inhumane and unscientific
An estimated 115 million animals are used in experiments worldwide each year, many suffering high levels of pain. Toxicity (chemical) tests of pharmaceuticals in rodents predict human toxicity only 43% of the time. 92% of novel medicines that pass animal tests fail to reach the market, mainly because of unpredicted side-effects or because they are ineffective in humans.
2. Toxicity testing should be based on reliable, truly non-animal methods
The US National Research Council encourages a move away from animal tests to 21st Century Toxicology to “make toxicity testing quicker, less expensive, and more directly relevant to human exposures."
3. Campaign and lobbying initiatives should push for 1R rather than 3Rs
Many tests described as ‘alternatives’ to animal testing actually exploit animals, such as: use of fish and invertebrates; killing of animals for their cells and tissues; animal serums. The Lush Prize works for the 1R of replacement, not the other 2Rs of refinement and reduction.
4. The Lush Prize works to end animal testing
The annual Prize aims to speed the introduction of non-animal testing, particularly in toxicity testing for consumer products and ingredients. It does this by providing a £250,000 annual fund to reward effective projects and individuals worldwide working in five areas of science and campaigning.
Five Strategic Areas
Several prizes of £50,000 will reward the most effective projects and individuals who have been working towards the goal of replacing animals in product or ingredient safety testing across five strategic areas:
The Black Box Award
In any year when there is a major breakthrough in 21st Century Toxicology – the exciting and highly promising area of human toxicity pathways research – the entire annual fund of £250,000 will be awarded to a single individual or team as a Black Box Award.
The Lush Prize can be awarded to projects anywhere in the world, to reflect the international nature of the issue, and is presented at an annual award ceremony in November of each year.
The Lush Prize combines the passion and resources of Lush staff with the research and campaigning skills of Ethical Consumer. For more information, including how to nominate a group or apply for the prize, visit LushPrize.org.