Monday, May 6, 2013

Animal Testing Thrown into Doubt, Again: Idiocy Confirmed

I don't know how many times I've seen someone post the dismal statistic regarding the very low success rate of new pharmaceuticals in an on-line discussion about the use of animals. Invariably, some numbskull will write back that the crazy vegan animal rights nuts who point out this little problem simply don't understand science and the drug development process. The assertion frequently comes with a puffed-up chest and the anonymous assertion that of course scientists, like them, know more than the nut.

Well..., as many of us nuts have known for some time, financial and other factors tend to turn those with vested interests into total idiots. The research finding discussed below will be vigorously argued against and disparaged, and given the gigantic financial benefits of producing animals and experimenting on them, in spite of the absence of significant benefit, things probably won't change any time soon.

Nevertheless, I simply can't wait to hear the idiots yelling that the many authors of this paper simply don't understand science and the drug development process.
The Experiment Is on Us: Science of Animal Testing Thrown into Doubt
May 6, 2013 Environment, Health, News

by Pat Dutt and Jonathan Latham, PhD

New scientific research has cast grave doubt on the safety testing of hundreds of thousands of consumer products, food additives and industrial chemicals.

Everyday products, from soft drinks and baby foods, to paints, gardening products, cosmetics and shampoos, contain numerous synthetic chemicals as preservatives, dyes, active ingredients, or as contaminants. Official assurances of the safety of these chemicals are based largely on animal experiments that use rabbits, mice, rats and dogs. But new results from a consortium of researchers and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest such assurances may be worthless (Seok et al. 2013).

The results of these experiments challenge the longstanding scientific presumption holding that animal experiments are of direct relevance to humans. For that reason they potentially invalidate the entire body of safety information that has been built up to distinguish safe chemicals from unsafe ones. The new results arise from basic medical research, which itself rests heavily on the idea that treatments can be developed in animals and transferred to humans.

The research originated when investigators noted that in their medical specialism of inflammatory disease (which includes diabetes, asthma and arthritis), drugs developed using mice have to date had a 100% failure rate in almost 150 clinical trials on humans.

According to Kristie Sullivan, Director of Regulatory Testing Issues at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), this is not unusual “about 90% of all pharmaceuticals tested for safety in animals fail to reach the market, or are quickly pulled from the market”. Wanting to understand why this might be so, the consortium decided to test the effects of various treatments that lead to inflammation, and systematically compare results between mice and humans. This postulated correlation across different animal species is sometimes known as the concordance assumption.

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