5. REMA AS AN OPINION GROUP
We are of the opinion that the REMA should be able to fill a certain lack of communication prevalent in the field of alternative methods between the scientific world on one hand, and the Administration, Industry and Society on the other. In this context, it is necessary for researchers to be informed of the needs perceived by society as being relevant to scientific development and, at the same time, to know the needs of the industrial world. On the other hand, society should be objectively informed of what is feasible and what are the limits of the alternative models. In turn, Industry is pressured both by administrative demands for maximum product safety (which implies the conduction of numerous trials), and by consumer requirements for change in the animal models and regimens employed. It should thus be offered the means to express an opinion and contribute to the gradual replacement of animal experimentation without sacrificing safety as a result.
The pertinent organisms of the Administration and legal bodies should also be objectively informed of the true situation of in vitro models. In this sense, legislation sometimes falls behind the advances achieved by alternative methodology; indeed, although animal experimentation is not always the best solution for anticipating the effects of a given compound, it remains the only officially accepted option - despite the great inertia to replace such practices. In other situations, legislation seems to step ahead of reality, imposing limits and deadlines beyond which conventional trials involving animals become prohibited - without prior confirmation of the feasibility of alternative solutions (Directive 93/35/EEC).
On the basis of close cooperation among Industry, Administration and Science, the REMA aims to make a serious effort to provide objective information and enhance awareness of the use of alternative methods. In sum, the REMA wishes to serve as the ideal mediator for Science and the Administration, Industry and Society.