NEW YORK—Revlon has decided to end its support of a major university research effort into in vitro alternatives to the use of animals in product testing and research. Its action is the latest obstacle to progress in a field hampered by inadequate funding and differing approaches to the problem.

The Laboratory for In Vitro Toxicologic Assay Development at The Rockefeller University was created six years ago by Revlon after intense pressure by animal rights activists to find an alternative to the Draize test. That test involves placing an experimental substance in the eye of a rabbit and watching for potential irritation. A few months later the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, an industry trade group, founded the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Revlon has spent nearly $1.5 million on research into alternatives to the Draize. In October 1985, however,...

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