Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Evidence shows animal research is a waste

Aysha Akhtar, M.D.: Evidence shows animal research is a waste
A letter to the editor, Captital Times — 10/02/2007

Dear Editor: In addition to the ethical issues raised by animal research, more and more members of the medical research community are calling attention to the fundamental problems with animal experiments ("Doc: Testing on animals obsolete"). As a neurologist and public health specialist, I know there is ample evidence that underscores the urgent need to move away from using animals in research.

In a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, physicians cast doubts on the usefulness of animal research and cautioned against extrapolating research results from animals to humans.

The editors of a September 2006 editorial in Nature Reviews concluded that mouse-based cancer research has not been useful and questioned why researchers still rely so heavily on these animals.

There are scientifically superior and more ethical ways to learn about human health and disease and how to treat and cure human illness. We simply can't afford for researchers to waste more time and money on a system that does not work.

Aysha Akhtar, M.D., senior research adviser, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, D.C.

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