Animal Research Ruins Human Lives
How many times do you hear about a new drug or treatment for a major disease or condition that has had “promising” results in animal studies, that should be available in a few years if studies continue to give promising results…and then you never hear about it again?
That is because so many “promising” results from animal studies mean absoutely nothing when the treatment is to be applied to the human body. The drug company Ciba-Geigy has estimated that only five per cent of chemicals found safe and effective in animal tests actually reach the market as prescription drugs.
“Laboratory Animal Anaesthesia”, by Per Svendsen, is one of the most widely respected textbooks on animal experimentation, and even it states:
“Uncritical reliance on the results of animal tests can be dangerously misleading and has cost the health and lives of tens of thousands of humans.”
Despite the supposed stringency of animal tests on drugs deemed safe for human consumption and released onto the market, two million Americans become seriously ill and approximately 100,000 people die every year because of reactions to medicines they were prescribed. To put this in context, this figure exceeds the number of deaths from all illegal drugs combined.
In England, an estimated 70,000 deaths and cases of severe disability occur each year because of adverse reactions to prescription drugs.
During 1976 to 1985 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 209 new compounds. Nearly half of these were subsequently found to have severe unpredicted side-effects including heart attacks, kidney failure, liver failure and stroke, not detected in animal studies.
The best-known example is the drug thalidomide. Mothers who took this drug to remedy morning sickness gave birth to children with shocking deformities, with most lacking developed limbs. This did not happen in animal studies.
In many instances, animal research delays cancer causing agents from being banned from the market. This is because animal research is conducted to try to prove the link first. People continue to be exposed to carcinogenic materials while unreliable and inaccurate animal reserach is conducted, and this still happens today. Here are some pst examples:
- When a study of dyeworkers showed a high incidence of bladder cancer, droves of dyed lab animals failed to prove the rule.
- Chromium was carcinogenic in humans but not in animals.
- In 1956, British doctors warned of carcinogenic effects of X-rays given during pregnancy, resulting in childhood cancers. But no amount of irradiated pregnant quadrupeds necessarily produced the same effect.
- Asbestos is another example. The link between cancer and asbestos was made as long ago as 1907; but, after scientists failed to induce the disease in animals, it took more than 30 years before it was banned.
Since animals’ bodies react so differently to humans in so many ways, it makes no sense that we are concerned with reproducing results in animals before agents are banned for humans.
A drug to treat Leukaemia, named TGN1412, had produced promising results in animal studies, so was tested on six healthy young men in a UK drug trial run by Parexel. Despite the drug amount injected into them being 500 times lower than the dose that was safe in animals, all six men ended up fighting for their lives in a hospital intensive care unit, suffering from multiple organ failure. One of the men remained in hospital for four months and also suffered pneumonia, septicaemia, and dry gangrene. He lost his finger tips, part of his foot and his toes. All six of the men were left with muscle wastage and an increased risk of developing cancer and infertility problems.
Even is people are not concerned about the horrific animal cruelty involved, the abundant scientific evidence against this practice should worry anyone who cares about their health and the health of their loved ones.
Image: Ryan Wilson, and all five other men in the trial of the drug found to be safe in animals, suffered multiple organ failure and more. Source
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