Horseshoe crab blood will still be used in the pharmaceutical industry’s safety tests after a United Staes group, US Pharmacopeia (USP), rejected a synthetic substitute.

The substitute was pushed heavily by animal rights groups. Horseshoe crab blood clots when it’s mixed with bacterial endotoxins and is used to test for contamination in infusions and shots. Synthetic substitutes have emerged but pharmaceutical companies criticize them over safety. The synthetic substitute is called recombinant Factor C (rFC).

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USP was originally for the synthetic substitute but abandoned that proposal at the end of May. Additional coverage of the issue was prompted by the increased instances of testing and the development of the coronavirus vaccine. Eli Lilly uses rFC in 90% of its safety testing, according to Reuters, and will test coronavirus vaccine candidates using rFC.

Groups including the National Audubon Society and Defenders of Wildlife have called for an end to using horseshoe crab blood in testing, citing the 100,000 horseshoe crabs that could be saved if rFC was used instead. “It is unfortunate that biomedical research still relies on the harvesting of a vulnerable wild animal population when there is a simple, effective, sustainable replacement,” said Ryan Phelan, a spokesperson for conservation group Revive & Restore.

Animal testing is a useless and unethical part of scientific research, the testing is found to be ineffective, as 95% of drugs that pass animal tests fail on humans. Numerous companies are standing up against animal testing and recently the USDA made a decision to eliminate some mammalian testing by 2025 but there’s more to be done and it’s time countries ban animal experimentation all together as it’s hurts humans as well.

Sign this petition for the ethical treatment of horseshoe crabs!

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