Sunday December 17, 2006, 10:20 am
A similar article was in the British Medical Journal 2004-February also citing failures with experimentation on animals, questionable methodology, and calling for more systemic reviews. Some BMJ responders to that article took the Journal to task for even printing such an article. Although it is almost 3 years later now, it is hopeful to see that the BMJ has again opened the file.
IMO, the jury has been IN for some time and the verdict is: the data extrapolated from the animal model can not be used for the human one, any way one views this -scientifically, ethically, morally, philisophically, economically, and ecologically.
The bulk of medical research is funded by the pharmaceutical industry. 2003-Dec. Allan Roses, worldwide vice president of GlaxoSmithKline stated, " the vast majority of drugs -90%- only work in 30 -50% of the people." In other words, fewer than 10% of drugs that pass the clinical trial phase are effective for more than 1/2 the rest of the human population.
Testing using animals has also delayed the progress of medical science. Examples: Digitalis, a plant used for many centuries for heart disorders in humans was delayed receiving the western medical model's attention and approval because when given to animals it caused high blood pressure. Benzene, an industrial chemical was not withdrawn because manufacturer-supported tests in mice did not produce leukemia despite clinical and epidemiological evidence that exposure to Benzene caused leukemia in humans.
Overuse of drugs and vaccines have created a self-fulfilling profitable prophecy for the pharamaceutical industry and its many spin-off mini industries. Viruses and germs mutate creating more virulent strains that are drug resistant thus stronger drugs and vaccines are 'developed' to counteract the consequences of the initial drugs and vaccines.
Some think that using primates as close genetic cousins to the homo sapien is ok yet even in the human, there are differences in drug responses between the male and female human. The 1% genetic difference between the chimpanzee and the human therefore manifests, pans out into very different biochemistry.
When viewing the larger picture, for all of the barbaric cruelty and waste to tens of millions, some say billions of animals and for the vast amounts of money allocated for experimentation using animals and so little allocated to preventative measures; the merit of epidemiological studies and clinical evidence, as a species we are sicker and have more diseases than ever before in human history.
Side note: The placebo effect is rarely spoken of as a variable in augmenting a drug's efficacy.
Frankly speaking, IMO, anything that causes suffering will produce more suffering, proportionately.
The plant world is a natural pharmacopoeia, yet if we continue to slash, burn, and destroy with artificial fertilizers, GMO's, ignorant/myopic legislation, and 'war on' policies, etc. the ecological imbalance will continue to favour humans above all other life forms on the planet and in the end we humans will also lose.. including access to plant pharmacopoeia. No amount of money will reverse extinction.
Medical science is stuck in a neural pattern of belief then doing according to the belief; a pattern that has been heavily influenced and corrupted by money, tenure, and/or promotion.
" The mistake of the scientist leads to mistakes by many people [or to bad effects in general]."
-- Arabic quote
" In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next 7 generations."
-- from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy.
"Only when the last tree has withered, and the last fish caught, and the last river poisoned will we realize we can not eat money." -- Cree
Since we can not dismantle the monetary system at this time, IMHO, the best general strategy in one's every day life is to fund/empower living organizations and systems, not empower systems of cruelty. Our human evolution is meandering down a side trail. Through a little personal perseverence and more questioning from each individual, we, the common people will find the way back to the main trail. When me becomes we. Thank you for any consideration you can apply to any of the above.
Wednesday December 20, 2006, 10:35 am
What is especially troubling about research involving animals is that the results cannot possibly be measured with the same degree of accuracy as tests with humans. Humans can communicate a vast range of responses verbally in addition to the measurements that are taken using scientific tools. Animals cannot communicate in a way that is understandable to humans. Note that the article describes one study in which the results from animal testing were supported by human testing--the human subjects were newborns, who also have a very limited ability to communicate.
Friday December 22, 2006, 6:57 pm
Animals are not people and visa versa so it makes little sense to test on animals. Unfotunately, for chimps they are our closest relative and end up being tortured as a result. I'm sure there are other alternatives to testing chimps in this day and age. We must find alternatives. To use chimps knowing how closely related to us they are is inhumane. Stop animal testing now!