Respectful Insolence

Enough.

I don’t know about you, but as a surgeon and a biomedical researcher, I’m fed up with animal rights terrorists who threaten biomedical research with their misinformation about animal research, their terroristic attacks on scientists who engage in such research, and listening to the despicable self-righteous idiot who is a disgrace to surgeons everywhere, Dr. Jerry Vlasak, spouting off about how assassinating researchers who use animals as part of their research would be justified.

And apparently I’m not alone. Scientists at UCLA, which, along with UC Santa Cruz, is at ground zero for the animal rights movement in the U.S., have decided to do something about it. They’ve formed their own chapter of Pro-Test, and, even better, they’ve decided to get in the faces of the animal rights terrorist crowd:

The campus movement, UCLA Pro-Test, has organized a demonstration on Wednesday, April 22nd in order to support medical research; it will coincide with the “World Week for Animals in Laboratories” rally organized by various anti-research extremist groups. The upcoming UCLA Pro-Test demonstration parallels the 2006 demonstrations by the UK student organization Pro-Test, which opened the public debate on animal research in the UK and contributed to the downfall of animal rights activism in the UK. One of UK Pro-Tests founders, Tom Holder, will be on hand at the Los Angeles rally to show his support for our efforts and to emcee the event.

UCLA faculty and students conducting cutting-edge research on the biology of mental disorders and treatments for AIDS and pediatric afflictions have been the victims of increasingly vicious and hateful attacks because of the direct or indirect involvement of animals in their studies. Animal research is crucial for the development of most medical breakthroughs, including the development of insulin and penicillin and the creation of treatments for leukemia and breast cancer. Without such methods, medical progress would be severely impaired.

“Year after year, anti-biomedical research activities in Los Angeles (primarily directed against UCLA faculty and students) have grown (in size and methodology). They have written terrible and hateful lies about us. They have maligned us and our University. They have scared adults and children alike at home. They destroyed our property and sense of security and threatened some of our lives. Their momentum is building. All this while, we haven’t risen up as a group and said ‘enough is enough.’ The time has come.” – David Jentsch.

Actually, it’s long past time. For too long, scientists have remained silent, cowed by the rhetoric of sanctimonious idiots like Dr. Vlasak, who clearly cares far more for animals than his fellow human beings and thinks nothing of advocating murder in the name of his cause. Of course, he’s also a coward in that he never actually takes part in any of these animal rights “actions.” Oh, no. He can’t get his hands dirty. He can’t take any actual risks. Why should he, when he has a band of useful idiots, usually college-age kids whose natural idealism has been warped beyond recognition. Legitimate complaints about abuses that may be visited upon animals have been used to persuade them that all animal research is wrong. Animal rights have been confused with animal welfare. The end justifies the means. Mice, even Drosophila, are worth as much as–more, in practice, than–human beings.

If there’s one thing about the animal rights movement, it’s profoundly antiscientific. It’s Luddite to its very core. Animal rights activists deny that animal research has ever produced any advances in medicine, a demonstrably false claim. The claim more than that, namely that animal research is misleading, that it actually slows down medical progress. They argue that computer models and cell culture can substitute for animal research. Would that were true! But that, too, is false. Moreover, researchers have been working for years to try to minimize the use of experimental animals. They’ve also been working to minimize any pain and suffering. Indeed, animal research is the second most highly regulated form of biomedical research after human subjects research. Just in my neck of the woods (two institutions where I’ve worked), in the 9 years that I’ve been an independent investigator, the length and complexity of protocol applications for animal research have tripled or quadrupled in length and complexity.

Here’s another thing. Notice where the hotbeds of animal rights terrorism are: Los Angeles and UC Santa Cruz, the latter of which is about 60 miles south of the Bay Area. Notice anything? That’s right. They’re also the same areas in California that are hotbeds of antivaccine activism and high levels of claimed “philosophical” exemption for vaccination. While it’s true that correlation does not necessarily equal causation, the correlation between antivaccine lunacy and animal rights terrorism, I suspect, is more than just a coincidence, as is the prevalence of pseudoscientific, mystical, New Age woo in the same areas. Antiscientific beliefs tend not to remain restricted to just one area; they tend to be associated with each other. It’s crank magnetism in action, and it endangers us all, whether it’s due to parents who think vaccines are dangerous because a former Playboy Playmate and gross-out comedienne tells them they are or animal rights terrorists who stifle potentially life-saving research.

This is a battle that’s about more than animal rights. It’s about science and reason, as opposed to unreason. It’s about fighting back against the incipient Age of Endarkenment. It’s about not letting antiscientific radicals prevent scientific progress or endanger everyone’s children.

Comments

  1. #1 stevogvsu
    April 1, 2009

    I couldn’t agree more. While I do support certain aspects of the animal rights movement I’ve always found their primary thrust to be woefully misguided and misanthropic. Also, I can’t stand the majority of their tactics..sea kittens anyone?

  2. #2 Matt
    April 1, 2009

    Aren’t IRBs required to have outside volunteers monitor the use of animals in research that these individuals can work for if they are serious about stopping animal abuse?

  3. #3 Jane
    April 1, 2009

    Would an animal rights supporter be allowed anywhere near an IACUC (not IRB, those are for human subjects)?

  4. #4 ambivalent academic
    April 1, 2009

    Matt – IACUCs are for animal research oversight, IRBs are for human research oversight. But in theory you are correct. There is at least one non-institutionally-affiliated lay-person on an IACUC committee for expressly the purpose of representing the concerns of the general public. I think that this is a very good thing.

    However, I suspect that in practice, this is not a viable or valid forum for the sorts of people who are attracted to terrorist acts in the name of welfare of animal research subjects. In part because taking such a position on an IACUC means that you will be supporting some animal research — your job is to make sure that it is humane. The sort of people who are willing to commit terrorist acts are unlikely to make such a “compromise”. Secondly, in light of these terrorist acts the institution needs to protect the safety and privacy of their researchers, so having committed such an act of terrorism in the past, or having been affiliated with an organization that does, will likely disqualify such a person from serving on an IACUC.

  5. #5 BB
    April 1, 2009

    Good for getting the word out, Orac. Wish every university had a chapter of Pro-Test.

  6. #6 Noadi
    April 1, 2009

    Okay, I love animals. The fact that my pet count is in the double digits and includes a llama is evidence of that. Animals should be treated in as humane and caring a manner as possible, any suffering should be minimized and of course animal research should have oversight to make sure it is up to a certain standard. However it is such a vital and necessary part of research that there’s no reasonable alternative.

  7. #7 koan0215
    April 1, 2009

    I am living proof that a person can care deeply about animal rights and welfare and still support laboratory testing. I’m a long-time vegetarian, but I am absolutely sure that the benefits of scientific testing on animals far outweigh ethical concerns about animal welfare. It would be great if we lived in a world without disease, but we don’t. Only a morally confused person would decide that the welfare of a rat is as important as the welfare of a human child who is sick.

  8. #8 attrice
    April 1, 2009

    While I have nothing but personal anecdotes, I can say that woo is rampant among vegans. IME, raw food ‘enzyme’ woo, general nutrition woo, alternative medicine, homeopathy and yes, anti-vaccination b.s. is far more prevalent among vegans that the general population. And even vegans who are pro-vaccine or skeptical of homeopathy are often willing (desperate, even) to believe that animal research is completely useless. IMO, the animal rights movement uses a lot of bad information to justify their positions rather than having to do the hard work of finding workable positions that can address both the interests of animals and humans.

    It’s one of the reasons I basically steer clear of other vegans these days.

  9. #9 aegis66
    April 1, 2009

    Since animal rights activists decry the use of animals in medicine, here is a humble suggestion so that they can stay true to their agenda. All Vegans and Animal Rights supporters must carry a card (similar to an organ donor card) on their person stating that they are a vegan and/or animal rights supporter. In the event that they need medical care, all medical professionals shall honor the belief system by denying them any and all medical treatments that stem from knowledge and advances gained from animal testing. In this way they can remain pure. Sadly, when Ingrid Newkirk of PETA broke her wrist, she was eager and appreciative of the IV fluids and pain medications dispensed to her – all of which had roots in animal testing. Can you say ‘Hypocrite’?

  10. #10 Rogue Epidemiologist
    April 1, 2009

    I remember my first day of Biology 1A lab at Berkeley. We met our GSI, who convened our class by going over the “civil unrest” procedure. Much like a stewardess demonstrating the life vests and pointing out the emergency exits on an airplane, our hapless grad student (who was as much a n00b as we were to the whole deal)dryly instructed us follows:

    In the event of civil unrest
    1. Turn off the lights in the lab
    2. Shut the windows and blinds
    3. Cover the window on the lab door with paper
    4. Get under your benches and be really quiet

    We all knew what the deal was. We dissected freshly deceased, warm rats in this class, so we had to have a plan in case the animal-rights jackasses decided to attack.

  11. #11 Emp
    April 1, 2009

    “Animal rights activists deny that animal research has ever produced any advances in medicine, a demonstrably false claim.”

    As a vegan, there are few things that embarrass me more than when people say this. Believe what you like about animal testing, but don’t try to deny scientific fact. Personally, I embrace modern medicine, although I hope one day animal testing will be unnecessary.

    The problem with people who believe this is that they, like the antivaccinationists, have received their degrees from Google University. They will take anything they read on the internet as fact, so long as it coincides with their opinions.

  12. #12 SimonG
    April 1, 2009

    The dishonesty is one of the things that annoys me most. The radical animal rights argument has nothing to do with whether or not reasearch using animals is beneficial: they don’t want it done for any reason.
    They should have the honesty to say as much.

  13. #13 DuWayne
    April 1, 2009

    I am not generally a advocate for violence, but when it comes to terrorists, I am becoming more and more of a believer in the “just shoot ‘em” philosophy.

  14. #14 Deborah Hesskew
    April 2, 2009

    HSUS, Peta and other AR nuts are attacking all over. Breeders, pet owners, agriculture and science. No one is safe from their garbage, we are fighting them in Texas right now. I am so sick of having to defend myself as a small breeder. If these nuts get their way, there will be no animals left except in the wild. All industries that have anything to do with animals need to contact the legislators in the senate, congress and house all of these government officials and tell them NO MORE, we are sick of the crap being fed to the public by these nuts. This is just my opinion. :)

  15. #15 Melody
    April 2, 2009

    “”Animal rights activists deny that animal research has ever produced any advances in medicine, a demonstrably false claim.”
    As a vegan, there are few things that embarrass me more than when people say this. Believe what you like about animal testing, but don’t try to deny scientific fact. Personally, I embrace modern medicine, although I hope one day animal testing will be unnecessary.
    The problem with people who believe this is that they, like the antivaccinationists, have received their degrees from Google University. They will take anything they read on the internet as fact, so long as it coincides with their opinions.
    Posted by: Emp”

    Yep. Same here. Every once in awhile on a vegan forum you’ll see a big debate about whether animal research has any scientific validity, and one (perhaps unsurprisingly) consistent finding, however anecdotal, is that people who argue that animal research has no scientific value, have extreme difficulty distinguishing between scientific validity and questions of ethics and morals, such that the two become conflated. Combining that with selectively looking at information that seems to support your moral bias thru Google U. in a confirmation bias, looking at some dodgy conclusions and a lack of understanding about the capabilities of what research can be conducted with modalities such as cell cultures, and it is a fine recipe for someone to start confidently talking to say that medicine is “relying on a counter-productive way of research” or some such thing.

  16. #16 Rita
    April 2, 2009

    A hint of straw men is in the air here – a lot of emotive terms about terrorism, people who think fruit flies are more important than humans etc. Those who think animal experimentation is wrong morally (curiously enough, maintaining that “the end does not justify the means”, taken in Orac’s post as pointing in the opposite drection! such is human thinking)do not necessarily fall into the category of hysterics. However, like those they defend, they are fairly powerless in the current situation and many feel desperate to alleviate the suffering caused to animals – whilst acknowledging that animal experiments may have been productive of benefit to humans (and even to some animals). Doing evil (and everyone admits that such suffering is an evil and should be reduced, refined replaced)that good may come does not strike everyone as a morally tenable position and there are those who think it would be preferable to move on to a more sustainable stance, at whatever cost, just as a majority would not countenance experiments on unfortunte humans – something was learned even from Nazi experiments on people, for example, but “the ends do not justify the means”!

  17. #17 Orac
    April 2, 2009

    And I see a hint of flirting with Godwin’s law here, quite frankly.

    What most irritates me about animal rights types is that they in essence lie and obfuscate. Instead of coming right out and saying they oppose animal research, period, on absolutist moral grounds, they instead make bogus arguments that it is scientifically worthless. It’s the same tactic that opponents of embryonic stem cell research who hide or downplay the real reason for objecting (their religious beliefs) and instead make, well, bogus arguments that embryonic stem cell research is useless and “hasn’t produced any cures yet.” It’s intellectually dishonest.

  18. #18 Tom Holder
    April 2, 2009

    Regular updates about the UCLA Pro-Test can be found on http://www.speakingofresearch.com, and especially http://speakingofresearch.wordpress.com/get-involved/ucla-pro-test/

    The first few speakers have been announced.

  19. #19 Dunc
    April 2, 2009

    Only a morally confused person would decide that the welfare of a rat is as important as the welfare of a human child who is sick.

    I’m not sure that this is true. There is a perfectly cogent argument for that position, it just happens to be based on a radically different set of moral premises from those generally held in our society.

    Practically everybody agrees that there is a sliding scale of sentience, and that an organism’s position on this scale determines the rights society should grant it – this is why experiments which are regarded as perfectly acceptable when carried out on fruit flies might not be regarded as acceptable when carried out on rhesus monkeys. The disagreement arises over precisely what rights are granted – some people believe that even organisms a long way down the sentience scale deserve full human rights. I’m not one of them, but I can’t honestly say that I think their argument is invalid in form – I just disagree with their premises. However, I recognize that the key premise in question is not a matter of empirical fact, but rather one of judgement.

    Like Orac, I would much prefer it if people would just come out and make that argument honestly. Then we could have a sensible debate on exactly what sort of trade-offs we’re willing to make.

  20. #20 ???
    April 2, 2009

    Perhaps someone can start an organization for prevention of cruelty to viruses and bacteria by means of research into vaccines. Jenny Freaking McCarthy can be their spokesmoron.

  21. #21 Autodidactyl
    April 2, 2009

    “HSUS, Peta and other AR nuts are attacking all over. Breeders, pet owners, agriculture and science. No one is safe from their garbage, we are fighting them in Texas right now. I am so sick of having to defend myself as a small breeder. If these nuts get their way, there will be no animals left except in the wild.”

    I’ve got news for you. If these animal rights folks get there way, there won’t be any animals left in the wild either. Zoos and conservation organizations depend on animal research and especially veterinary research to save endangered animals on every continent around the globe.

  22. #22 Madrocketscientist
    April 3, 2009

    I fear the day when one of these groups goes too far and a scientist (and/or his family) are seriously injured or killed.

  23. #23 Tsu Dho Nimh
    April 3, 2009

    Madrocketscientist … or when they attack the wrong house, and it belongs to a gun nut.

  24. #24 William Wallace
    April 3, 2009

    So, as a person who probably believes in common descent on what basis and at what point does testing on an animals become wrong?

    Humans are animals, according to biologists.

    Chinese were animals, according to the Japanese, who during WWII performed tests on them. (“Human weeds” may be a better translation of how they Japanese caricatured the Chinese).

    Jews were dismissed as sub-human by the Germans who performed scientific experiments on them.

    Fetuses and embryos are not human, according to many liberal Americans.

    And, indeed, while almost all condemn the type of testing performed on Jews and Chinese, some scientific knowledge came about from this testing….scientific knowledge that was not discarded by science after the war, if my memory is correct.

    Consent is obviously a component when it comes to testing on humans, but, likely, you still wouldn’t accept it if a man consented to testing that would be fatal if a deal had been struck to give that man’s family enough money to be financially comfortable.

  25. As I watch a great blue heron eat one of my smaller koi and watch that fish keep struggling away as it moves down his throat and into the digestive fluids, which will remove and digest his skin while he is still alive, I think of PETA and the Humane Society and their dangerously limited belief systems. That same heron will also do the same thing with gofers and other small furry mammals and I assume that such treatment of our fellow animals is unacceptable to PETA. I can imagine a research project to measure the level of pain in an animal being digested alive — could I get it funded or would the ACUC (animal care and use committee) give in to the PETA crowd and say no. It could be a useful experiment in answering the questions about how much pain can be created before the pain system shuts down. There is no evolutionary reason to stop the pain information — the one being digested will never reproduce again.

    To save one of these experimental animals, perhaps some PETA members will volunteer to be wired up and digested alive. Anyone want to be a Co-PI on the project?

  26. #26 Denis Alexander
    April 5, 2009

    Yes, Vlasak is a coward. If he indeed believed animals in Labs are the same as Jews in concentrations camps he would do exactly what he preaches — liberate them. But he doesn’t. Instead, the internet has allowed him to incite to violence from the comfort of their home and brain wash kids into carrying acts of violence (like the AETA4) that are likely going to spend a good time of their lives in jail. They can all thank Vlasak when they get out… in about 5 years.

  27. #27 shane
    July 2, 2009

    The creation of Your organisation is absolutely essential – well done! Many well-informed opinions occur in your comments section, and I absolutely agree that animal rights hooligans thrive on obfuscation, propaganda, and indoctrination of an unsuspecting youth. The loud mouths in organisations such as PETA should definitely corroborate their so-called brave stances by means of tatooing “PETA” on their foreheads – such clowns MUST be denied any form of medical assistance when ailing or injured. Humanity needs to understand that these radicals who in some instances value the lives of lab mice more than that of their own offspring, are essentially cretins with deep-seated inferiority complexes who thrive on attracting attention to themselves via their rediculous, childish statements – these people should get up off their buts, see a psychologist, and get a real job!! In South Africa, widespread finance-related irregularities – in the form of dubious use (or rather abuse!) of public funding – is increasingly characterising the burgeoning, and seemingly lucrative animal rights/welfare movement. Mankind, in increasingly dangerous times (in terms of outbreaks such as H1N1) needs to defend itself, and one of the biggest enemies are these cranks who threaten the safety of our researchers – all in the name of vermin such as rats and mice! Its time to hit back!

  28. #28 shane
    July 2, 2009

    The creation of Your organisation is absolutely essential – well done! Many well-informed opinions occur in your comments section, and I absolutely agree that animal rights hooligans thrive on obfuscation, propaganda, and indoctrination of an unsuspecting youth. The loud mouths in organisations such as PETA should definitely corroborate their so-called brave stances by means of tatooing “PETA” on their foreheads – such clowns MUST be denied any form of medical assistance when ailing or injured. Humanity needs to understand that these radicals who in some instances value the lives of lab mice more than that of their own offspring, are essentially cretins with deep-seated inferiority complexes who thrive on attracting attention to themselves via their rediculous, childish statements – these people should get up off their buts, see a psychologist, and get a real job!! In South Africa, widespread finance-related irregularities – in the form of dubious use (or rather abuse!) of public funding – is increasingly characterising the burgeoning, and seemingly lucrative animal rights/welfare movement. Mankind, in increasingly dangerous times (in terms of outbreaks such as H1N1) needs to defend itself, and one of the biggest enemies are these cranks who threaten the safety of our researchers – all in the name of vermin such as rats and mice! Its time to hit back!

  29. #29 Graham
    August 5, 2009

    Sadly it would seem that there are still PETA shills in the media.

    A Business reporter called Erin Burnett had this to say about the Australian Federal Governments decision to cull feral camels in the Australian outback (For those who do not know camels are *not* native to that country.)

    “There is a serial killer in Australia and we are going to put a picture up so we can see who it is,” a stern-faced Burnett said during a segment on CNBC on Tuesday.

    A large photo of Rudd was then shown.

    “That would be the prime minister of Australia Kevin Rudd,” Burnett said.

    “OK well do you know what he is doing?

    “He has launched air strikes – air strikes – against camels in the outback.”

    http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,28383,25886883-10229,00.html

  30. #30 Lisa B.
    August 5, 2009

    Therein lies the biggest tragedy of the ‘lunatic’ AR activists. People are so put off by their antics that the animals being truly abused are forgotten.

    @9 “All Vegans and Animal Rights supporters must carry a card (similar to an organ donor card) on their person stating that they are a vegan and/or animal rights supporter…..deny them any and all medical treatments that stem from knowledge and advances gained from animal testing”.

    You must be careful to differentiate that some people are vegan just because they happen to like it and how they feel. Alot of times it has nothing to do with thinking the animals are abused. Also, there are several animal rights/abuse groups that only spend time protecting animals from being set on fire, beaten, starved, head run over with a lawn mower, etc, just for the fun of it. The entire cub scout Pack (1st to 5th grade) in this county volunteer(and have member cards)for the humane society, and their only agenda is to protect abused pets. I assume you wouldn’t actually deny them treatment :)

    As a veterinary surgeon and epidemiologist who has worked in referral practice, the USDA, CDC and now the USAF. I hope people will continue to report when they see animals being abused and not be afraid of being labelled in with those lunatics. Animal research is necessary for medical and scientific advancements. Their terrorist-like approach has turned off many people to the plight of animals who actually need help. There are a few research and food producing facilities that heinously abuse animals, and those places should immediately be shut down. Unfortunately, people like Dr. Vlasak and Peta are spewing animal abuse rants to so many things that the true abuse gets lost in the cloud.

  31. #31 Bharatpanthi
    June 6, 2010

    Eating Meat is part of food chain, but why torture before killing? I mean ways an intention should not be evil.
    Making a society Vegetarian is conspiracy to make it weak. On the other hand making every member compulsorily kill animal or watch it killed, slowly bleed to death, reciting, and rejoicing prayers & rituals over it is to make society a terrorist germination plant. Strike the balance.
    Get meat from dignified, scientific, humane and hygienic methods.
    Subscribe only to traditional Christian or ancient Hindu/Sikh way.
    Now a days there is undeclared Jihad to make Civilized meat eaters Islamic Halal by Communal and commercial Consolidation.
    Hindus have been made weak over centuries by propagating vegetarianism by Pseudo-Holy/Hindus interpreters of Spirituality. Since Hindus became vegetarians they are losing inch by inch- year by year. Of late Sikhs the most Miraculous warriors have started becoming vegetarians, now they have been reduced to bunch of History Relishing Creatures and target of mobs and street fights.
    Learn from facts not from fancies. for more information visit http://www.jhatka.org

    Where as Halal eaters relish from inflicting pain.

  32. #32 Bharatpanthi
    June 6, 2010

    Eating Meat is part of food chain, but why torture before killing? I mean ways an intention should not be evil.
    Making a society Vegetarian is conspiracy to make it weak. On the other hand making every member compulsorily kill animal or watch it killed, slowly bleed to death, reciting, and rejoicing prayers & rituals over it is to make society a terrorist germination plant. Strike the balance.
    Get meat from dignified, scientific, humane and hygienic methods.
    Subscribe only to traditional Christian or ancient Hindu/Sikh way.
    Now a days there is undeclared Jihad to make Civilized meat eaters Islamic Halal by Communal and commercial Consolidation.
    Hindus have been made weak over centuries by propagating vegetarianism by Pseudo-Holy/Hindus interpreters of Spirituality. Since Hindus became vegetarians they are losing inch by inch- year by year. Of late Sikhs the most Miraculous warriors have started becoming vegetarians, now they have been reduced to bunch of History Relishing Creatures and target of mobs and street fights.
    Learn from facts not from fancies. for more information visit http://www.jhatka.org

    Where as Halal eaters relish from inflicting pain.

  33. #33 noratmedicine
    June 8, 2010

    No humans have been saved or even benifitted from animal experiments unless you mean those whose careers, titles, status and income are derived from it. It is a legal not a scientific device. The vivisectors need an animal rights based ‘opposition’ so much that they even pay peter singer, the ‘animal rights guru of the world’google ‘ajudem nos singer rockefeller vivisection’ in the absence of this token opposition they would have to face the fact that what they do has no scientific value as expressed by soem honest doctors often speaking against their own best interests

    from http://www.curedisease.net

    DRUGS
    “92% of new drugs fail in clinical trials, after they have passed all the safety tests in animals” US FDA (2004) “Innovation or Stagnation, Challenge and Opportunity on the Critical Path to new Medical Products” (36).

    “A drug that is tested in animals will have a completely different effect in man. There are uncounted examples that could be cited.” (Dr. med. Karlheinz Blank) Lord Platt, President of the Royal College of Physicians said “No amount of animal testing can make a drug safe because humans react differently from animals.” The report of the british pharmaceutical industries expert committee on drug toxicity said “Information from one animal species cannot be taken as valid for any other. It is not a matter of balancing the cruelty and suffering of animals against the gain of humanity spared from the suffering, because that is not the choice. Animals die to enable hundreds of new drugs to be marketed annually, but the gain is to industry, not mankind.” Dr Herbert Gundersheimer, “Results from animal tests are not transferable between species, and therefore cannot guarantee product safety for humans…In reality these tests do not provide protection for consumers from unsafe products, but rather are used to protect corporations from legal liability.” Report of the Medical Research Council “It must be emphasized that it is impossible to extrapolate quantitatively from one species to any other species.” The Lancet, “We know from drug toxicity studies that animals are very imperfect indicators of human toxicity: only clinical experience and careful control of the introduction of new drugs can tell us about their real dangers.” Dr Ralph Heywood, former scientific director of huntington life sciences, one of the largest contract research laboratories in the world speaking to the CIBA Foundation said “The best guess for the correlation of adverse toxic reactions between human and animal data is somewhere between 5% and 25%” and “90% of our work is done for legal and not for scientific reasons.”
    So the USFDA, from drug co’s own data on millions of animals over decades indicates that animals are incorrect in determining drug toxicity for humans 92% of the time. It is a legal device, not a scientific one.

    Microdosing Pharmagene of Asterand are making genetically engineered drugs made for individuals as drug effects vary between humans

    CANCER from Campaign Against Fraudulent Medical Research http://www.pnc.com.au/~cafmr

    “Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud and that the major cancer research organisations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them.” – Linus Pauling PhD (Two-time Nobel Prize winner). Dr A. Sabin, creator of the vaccine of his name said, “It is time to end cancer research on animals because it is not related to humans.” And Dr Irwin Bross in Fundamental and Applied Toxicology “The moral is that animal model systems not only kill animals they also kill humans. There is no good factual evidence to show that the use of animals in cancer research has led to the prevention or cure of a single human cancer.” And Dr J F Brailsford “During the past fifty years scientists experimenting with thousands of animals have found 700 ways of causing cancer. But they had not discovered one way of curing the disease.”

    Have you ever wondered why, despite the billions of dollars spent on cancer research over many decades, and the constant promise of a cure which is forever “just around the corner”, cancer continues to increase?
    Cancer Is Increasing

    Once quite rare, cancer is now the second major cause of death in Western countries such as Australia, the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom. In the early 1940s cancer accounted for 12% of Australian deaths. (1)ref # d’Espaignet, E.T. et al., Trends in Australian Mortality 1921-1988, Australian Government Publishing Service (AGPS), Canberra, 1991, p. 33

    By 1992 this figure had climbed to 25.9% of Australian deaths. (2)ref # Australian Bureau of Statistics, Causes of Death, Australia 1992, ABS, Canberra, 1993, p.1

    and from safer med. campaign,
    Given substances are not necessarily carcinogenic to all species. Studies show that 46% of chemicals found to be carcinogenic in rats were not carcinogenic in mice. [23] If species as closely related as mice to rats do not even contract cancer similarly, it’s not surprising that 19 out of 20 compounds that are safe for humans caused cancer in animals. [24]

    The US National Cancer Institute treated mice growing 48 different “human” cancers with a dozen different drugs proven successful in humans, and in 30 of the cases, the drugs were useless in mice. Almost two-thirds of the mouse models were wrong. Animal experimentation is not scientific because it is not predictive.

    The US National Cancer Institute also undertook a 25 year screening programme, testing 40,000 plant species on animals for anti-tumour activity. Out of the outrageously expensive research, many positive results surfaced in animal models, but not a single benefit emerged for humans. As a result, the NCI now uses human cancer cells for cytotoxic screening.[25]

    Dr. Richard Klausner, as director of the US National Cancer Institute, plainly states:

    “The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse… We have cured mice of cancer for decades – and it simply didn’t work in humans.”
    refs 23# DiCarlo DrugMet Rev,15; p409-131984.
    24# Mutagenesis1987;2:73-78.
    25# Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science, Volume II Animal Models Svendensen and Hau (Eds.) CRC Press 1994 p4.

    you are certainly correct in saying that animal tests do not identify human carcionogens, even warnings on cigarette packets were delayed for 10 years due to animal ‘tests’ and 180 years for arsenic, also asbestos, literally thousands of human carcinogens. legal not scientific

    Re insulin/diabetes as so little funds are put into human based research compared to animal we are unlikely to learn more about it.

    i agree that animal res. isn’t undertaken on a whim, getting published, qualifications, income and legal protection are major motives. even noble motives though do not lead to worthwhile results ie cures or protecting humans.

    AIDS. from dr ray greek http://www.navs.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7753
    “According to the February 20, 2009 issue of Science:

    SIVcpz, the chimpanzee virus that infected humans and triggered the AIDS epidemic, caused no harm to apes. But new data reveal that wild chimps infected with SIVcpz are more likely to die than are uninfected chimps . . . Captive chimps experimentally infected with HIV-1 typically suffer no harm, which led several researchers to propose that chimps had lived with SIVcpz for centuries and that their immune systems had evolved to coexist with the virus. But few SIVcpz- infected chimps in the wild were identified until about a decade ago . . .

    We hear all the time about a new breakthrough using animals. What often goes unreported in the news is that a vast majority of these fail to translate to humans. Since HIV was isolated researchers have been experimenting with nonhuman primates seeking a vaccine or cure. Neither have been found; for humans. Many vaccines and preventive measures have been found for monkeys. Yet the NIH continues to fund experiments on a different species suffering from a different virus.

    Animals are not going to be predictive for humans because:

    1.
    animals and humans have different genes;
    2.
    animals and humans control and express the same genes differently;
    3.
    animals and humans live in different external environments (notice that wild chimpanzees are apparently susceptible to SIVcpz while captive chimps were not);
    4.
    animals and humans live in different internal environments (even if we all had the same gene, how all those genes and proteins interact would be different);
    5.
    even if animals and humans suffered from exactly the same virus in exactly the same fashion it does not follow they will respond similarly to the same treatment because different biochemical pathways may be involved.

    The above differences highlight why monkeys are no better predictors for humans than are our more distant relatives, mice. A percentage of genetic similarity does not imply predictive ability….”

    yes monkeys dont get aids so no point experimenting on them, same for all other human disease and all animal experiments. humans and animals only get the same diseases 1.16% of the time.

  34. #34 JF
    September 20, 2010

    I don’t care what your educational background or career is, the minute you referred to animal rights and animal welfare parties as “terrorists”, your true moronic nature surfaced. Do you seriously consider individuals who wish to better the lives of animals as the equivalent to those who flew planes into the World Trade Centers?! How desensitized are you? For the sake of making bogus statements, why not add in and conquer with Rene Descartes in the idea that animal responses to “painful” stimuli are merely their “animal spirits” acting out?

    More to the point, has there ever been a medical study, in which animals were used for experimentation, that could be generalized to the human species? As stated by doctors in various documentaries and through my own research I have yet to find such a study. Actually, it is in my opinion, using non-human animals to conduct studies meant to benefit the human species makes scientists look like idiots. With all of the current knowledge and technology, the use of non-human animals for such treacherous and fatal experiences is completely and utterly unnecessary. I’m glad to see so many dumb, lazy scientists who feel the need to use animals to their benefit. Congratulations you speciesist bastards. What’s next? Racism? Sexism? All three forms of discrimination are based upon one inherent characteristic uncontrolled by the being. So why not?

  35. #35 NJ
    September 20, 2010

    Ah, nothing like a long moribund thread to bring out the loonys…

  36. #36 Todd W.
    September 20, 2010

    @JF

    You did notice, I hope, that Orac was talking about animal rights advocates who use terrorist tactics, such as threats of physical harm to actual acts of violence against animal researchers? It is perfectly well and good to advocate the ethical treatment of animals and, where possible, to not use them in experiments. However, to go from that to using violence against the researchers is a terrorist act.

    As to benefits of animal research, there is quite a bit of information that does translate remarkably well from animals to humans. Furthermore, there is some animal research intended for subsequent human studies that end up benefiting animals, as well. Take a look at some of the comments for examples.

    Just a question, how many humans do you think are an acceptable amount to sacrifice to find out the LD50 of a new drug candidate? Should we breed humans specifically for use in research (e.g., creating knock-out humans that have a specific gene turned off)? Keep in mind that humans reproduce very slowly and mature very slowly, relative to many of the animals used in research. Using only humans for all research would then majorly slow down the discovery and development of new drugs, resulting in the delay of potential treatments for many individuals with many different conditions. Keep in mind, also, that even the best computer models are inadequate substitutions for examining a drug in a living system, due to the sheer complexity of biological systems.

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