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Unilever scientists wins award for animal testing alternatives research

 Julia Fentem, Ph.D. of Unilever, recently received the 2011 Russell & Burch Award from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for her contributions to the advancement of alternative methods in animal testing.

The award, which the HSUS began offering in 1991, is given to scientists who are working to advance methods that accomplish one or more of the "Three Rs" in using animals in testing - Replacing animals with a non-animal method, Reducing the number of animals used in science and Refining the methods so that animals suffer less during the experiment.

Fentem, who is responsible for Unilever's safety risk assessments for the company's products and processes, has been working on integrating and applying new science and technology for human health risk-based decision making. Unilever's products range from Dove soap to Lipton tea.

According to the Unilever website, the corporation has been investing an additional 3 million euros a year since 2004 to research non-animal approaches to product testing. However, a revealing PETA campaign earlier this year forced the company to ban animal testing on its teas. 
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