Animal rights: Chimpanzee research on...

Animal rights: Chimpanzee research on trial

There are 2 comments on the Nature Publishing Group story from Jun 15, 2011, titled Animal rights: Chimpanzee research on trial. In it, Nature Publishing Group reports that:

As pressure from activists builds, the United States is considering whether it should end invasive experiments in chimpanzees.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Nature Publishing Group.


Since: Apr 09

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#1 Jun 15, 2011
"Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: "Because the animals are like us." Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: "Because the animals are not like us." Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction." ~Charles R. Magel


Since: Apr 09

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#2 Jun 16, 2011
There's an interesting article in the online American Spectator by a doctor who says that federal regulators have finally come around to the view that testing toxic chemicals on rodents does not predict cancer risk in humans. That is, that the NIH and EPA have announced that they are moving into new ways of testing toxic chemicals on cells and isolated molecular targets instead of animals. High-dose animal tests do not predict human toxicity or cancer risk.

As an FDA official stated in 1999:'Most of the animal tests we accept have never been validated.'(See: The Independent, March 9, 1999). And, as geneticist Kathy Archibald reported in 2006:'The track record of primate research is abysmal...Research on primates has failed to produce treatments for any of our leading killers...'(See: The Oxfordstudent, 23 March 2008).

Many of the most common life threatening side effects of drugs cannot be predicted by animal tests. Animals, for instance, cannot let the experimenter know if they are suffering from headache, amnesia, nausea, depression and other psychological disturbances. Allergic reactions, some blood disorders, skin lesions and many central nervous system effects are even more serious examples that cannot be demonstrated by animal models (Sharpe, The Cruel Deception: The Use of Animals in Medical Research, Thorsons, 1988).

Saccharin provides a good everyday example of why animals tests are inaccurate. To this day it remains on sale, because it appears only to cause bladder cancer in male rats. The contraceptive was banned in the US over 20 years ago on the basis that it caused cancer in dogs and baboons. Yet the FDA recently lifted the ban on the basis of two studies, from New Zealand and the World Health Organization (WHO), which both concluded that the contraceptive did not heighten cancer risk. Ironically, soon after the FDA gave its seal of approval, a closer analysis of these studies revealed that the risk in fact doubles in the first five years of taking the hormone and then drops to almost nothing after that (JAMA, March 8, 1995).

An even more bizarre example is the drug tamoxifen, used to treat human breast cancer by blocking the production of oestrogen. Although tamoxifen reduces the incidence of mammary cancer in rodents, it actually increases the incidence of liver cancer in them (J Nat Cancer Inst, 1991; 83: 1450-59). From these studies, one would conclude that the drug is toxic to the kidneys. However, in human subjects, tamoxifen has been shown to cause uterine cancer (JAMA, 18 May 1994). Studies put the risk in humans between two and six times that of controls (Lancet, 19 February, 1994; Lancet, 1989, i: 117-20).

Although the stated rationale behind animal testing is that it is done for the greater good of mankind, it is actually done for legal rather than scientific reasons. Performing animal experimentation serves as a legal alibi for corporations when their products damage or kill those who use them.

Luckily there is an alternative to animal research and it's called good science.

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