Wednesday, 13 November 2013 18:07

Lush Prize 2013 Featured

On 13 November 2013 in London, the UK cosmetics company Lush presented its annual Lush Prize. The prize consists of a £250,000 annual fund and rewards the projects and individuals working towards the goal of replacing animals in product or ingredient safety, in the five categories “science”, “training”, “public awareness”, “young researcher award” and “lobbying”.

The prize is a joint project by Lush, manufacturer of handmade cosmetics, and the Ethical Consumer Research Association (ECRA), a not-for-profit co-operative based in the UK and founded in Manchester over 20 years ago with the mission to make global businesses more sustainable through consumer pressure. The prize promotes methods that can be employed without the use of animal testing, so as to end the use of animals for cosmetics and household products as soon as possible.

This year’s joint winners in the category “science” are a group of researchers from Cardiff for their work developing non-animal replacement models of the human respiratory system for inhalation toxicology applications, and a group from the University of Liverpool for developing computational alternatives to animal testing to predict the effects of chemicals.

Joint winners in the category “training” are the British company Xcellr8 for providing training in ethically sound and scientifically advanced human cell culture research technologies, and Dr. Anna Maria Bassi from Laboratorio Analisi Ricerca di Fisiopatologia in Italy for the development and delivery of training courses in animal-free cell culture research in accordance with EU regulation.

In the category “lobbying”, the International Council on Animal Protection in OECD Programmes (ICAPO) was honoured for its successful work with the OECD, now a world leader in the promotion of non-animal methods, approaches and policies, and the Swedish Fund for Research without Animal Experiments for their work with Swedish regulators to replace animal testing.

The New Zealand animal rights organization SAFE was awarded the prize in the category “public awareness” for publicising the use of animal testing in national drugs regulation and helping consumers to buy cruelty-free products, along with PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department, USA, for their high-profile campaigns against organisations that test on animals and that provide support services for animal testing.

Four young scientists received the “young researcher award”: Katja Reinhard from Germany for her research into visual impairment and blindness using human retinal tissue in vitro; Lydia Aschauer from Austria for her research into the improvement of in vitro models for testing toxicity effects on human kidneys; Alice Limonciel, also from Austria, for her research on improving predictions of human responses to chemicals through understanding molecular mechanisms; and Simona Martinotti from Italy for her research with Dr. Ranzato into wound healing using drug strategies based on natural products and traditional medicines.