Wrap your brain around this: The National Toxicology Program (NTP)—a government agency—plans to conduct animal tests on soy formula to figure out why the effects of previous animal tests aren’t being seen in human babies.
Yes, you read that right: A federal agency wants to conduct new animal tests on soy formula, which has been safely given to millions of babies for more than 60 years, because earlier tests on an ingredient in soy formula—genistein—caused some adverse developmental effects in rodents, who metabolize genistein differently than humans do.
Why does this come as a big shock to them?. There are vast physiological differences between people and animals. Meaningful scientific conclusions just can’t be drawn about one species by studying another. Aspirin kills cats and penicillin kills guinea pigs, yet both are considered safe for humans. Arsenic, strychnine, potassium cyanide, and other chemicals which can kill humans, are harmless to certain animals. And let’s not forget about Thalidomide, a drug which was thoroughly tested on animals and determined safe, yet caused birth defects in thousands of children.
All these examples and more, yet, apparently, NTP “experts” can’t figure out why human babies don’t experience the same effects from soy formula as mice and rats do. If the NTP goes through with its inane plan, baby animals will likely be force-fed components of soy formula and then either killed so that their sexual organs can be examined, or kept alive just long enough for their reproductive functions to be evaluated.
The tests will do nothing to make soy infant formula any safer for baby humans than it already is, and they certainly won’t make it any safer for mice and rats, who don’t normally ingest soy formula in the first place.
It doesn’t matter whether you prefer breast milk or formula. The whole plan is just completely illogical, not to mention inhumane. But it’s business as usual for the NTP, which has proposed to tests everything from green tea and herbal supplements valerian and dong quai to known dangerous substances, including asbestos and benzene, on animals
This is your tax dollars at work, my friends.
On Monday, May 10, a regulatory testing expert from PETA will meet with NTP’s Board of Scientific Counselors to (politely) point out the many flaws in the plan. But the NTP needs to hear from the general public too. If you want to let them know that you don’t want your tax dollars spent on asinine animal experiments, personalize and send this message to NTP Director Linda S. Birnbaum.
To find out how else you can help put a stop to the cruel and irrelevant animal tests performed by the U.S. government, see StopAnimalTests.com.
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