Why Choose Alternative Cancer Treatments (29b)

Animal Experimentation Unscientific

Part 2

© by People for Reason in Science and Medicine (PRISM), contd. from the first page

Vivisectors and False Claims

Vivisectors claim that medical advances and new techniques are made possible by experiments done with animals. This claim lacks any scientific credibility. Due to the biological variations between species, vivisection can only give misleading results as to how a technique will work in humans. According to Dr. Bruno Fedi, M.D., director of the City Hospital of Terni, Italy, "All our current knowledge of medicine and surgery derives from observations of humans... These observations have led us to discover the connection between smoking and cancer, between diet and atherosclerosis, between alcohol and cirrhosis*, and so on... Everything we know today in medicine derives from observations made on human beings." [Fedi, 1989, pp. 44-45]

These facts have not stopped the promoters of vivisection from making false claims. For example, vivisectors claim that transplants in humans were made possible by vivisection. However, due to the differences in biology, immune systems and physiology, transplants performed in animals can only give misleading results as to how transplants will work in humans.

Dr. Werner Hartinger, M.D., a surgeon with over thirty years experience, explained in a 1991 editorial: "With regard to transplants: a properly-trained surgeon is familiar with the operating technique and this presents no difficulties for him. The result of the operation becomes problematic due to varying tolerance of the transplant, which sometimes leads to rejection. The risk can, however, never be assessed by using some "animal model". In addition, neither the dosage, nor the effects or side effects of the necessary immunosuppressive can be assessed for use on humans via experimentation on animals." [Hartinger, 1991]

Heart transplants provide a perfect example of this. Hundreds of heart transplants were performed on dogs before they were attempted on humans, and yet the first human patients died because of complications that had not arisen in the dogs. [Iben, 1968]

It must be noted that no matter how successful human heart transplantation could ever be, it can never be a solution to our country's number one killer, heart disease. 3,000 Americans die of heart disease every day. It is certainly impossible to transplant 3,000 hearts every single day. That adds up to one million hearts a year in the U.S. alone. [USNCH]

The enormous amount of money wasted on attempting heart transplants in animals could have been used in clinical studies of people with heart disease, surveys studying the effects of diet and lifestyle on heart disease and in educating the public about prevention. This is representative of the mentality that vivisection has helped to breed, where all of our efforts and resources are directed at devising high-tech, expensive and invasive treatments, rather than trying to prevent disease by addressing its root causes.

* There are of course types of cirrhosis (eg Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, an autoimmune disease, or hepatic cirrhosis due to ingestion of arsenic) which are not caused by intentional drinking and can occur in non-drinkers.

Animal Experiments vs Health Care

By building false confidence in the safety of drugs, vaccines and invasive techniques, vivisection has advanced the concept of "managing" human bodies with drugs and surgery, rather than addressing the root causes of disease: diet, lifestyle, and environment.

It is essential that we abandon the invasive medical approach that vivisection has helped to advance, and concentrate on natural, non-invasive, cost-efficient and effective methods of keeping people healthy. By taking our money, time and efforts out of useless and counterproductive vivisection experiments and putting them instead into large-scale clinical and epidemiological studies of humans, we can begin to truly understand the effects of diet, lifestyle and environment on human health. These all-important factors can only be understood by observing humans living natural lives.

Fortunately, the general public is becoming more aware of, and interested in, the importance of diet in maintaining health. True to form, the vivisectors have used this fact to justify receiving grant money to study human nutrition in laboratory animals. Can it be that the vivisectors are completely unaware of the most simple reality of life and the food chain - that all animal species have different nutritional needs? More likely, they are completely aware of this fact, but choose to ignore it as long as the grant money keeps rolling in.

Obviously, no one would expect to live a healthy life on a diet of cat food, dog food or bird seed. And yet vivisectors continue to claim that they can determine the perfect diet for humans by studying laboratory animals. Dr. Franklin C. Bicknell, M.D., Member of the Royal College of Physicians, ridiculed this thinking as far back as 1956 when he wrote, "There are still people who feel that the rat will guide us to the perfect diet. Me? I think it merely guides us to the garbage heap." [Bicknell, 1956]

More and more people are becoming frustrated and disillusioned with invasive drug-and-surgery-based medicine and are turning to the so-called "alternative medicines". This is of course very threatening to the pharmaceutical companies, vivisectors and doctors who profit from the promotion of drugs and surgery. Their response is to claim that "alternative" methods do not work and are "unscientific". It is easy to see the ridiculousness of this claim when we know that modern medicine is based largely on vivisection, which lacks any scientific validity whatsoever. Due to the fact that vivisection receives billions of dollars in grants, little money is available to study any of the "alternative" medicines: holistic, naturopathic, homeopathic, acupuncture, vegetarianism, etc. These methods all use natural, non-toxic and cost effective methods to maintain health. For years invasive, drug/surgery based medicine has held center stage, getting all of the grant money, attention and media coverage. It is certainly time to share that spotlight. This is not meant as an endorsement of any particular branch of "alternative medicine". We are merely stating that it would be logical to determine what is of value in them.

Despite constant reports of "imminent medical breakthroughs" and so-called "miracle drugs", our health situation is not improving. The annual bill for health care in the U.S. is expected to reach 1.5 trillion dollars ($1,500,000,000,000) by the year 2000. [Milwaukee Sentinel, 1990] It does not make sense to continue to pay the vivisection, pharmaceutical and medical industries trillions of dollars to mismanage our health. It is easy to see why these people defend vivisection when we realize that they profit immensely from it.

Chapter Three

The Vivisection Industry

Big Business

Most people are unaware of what an enormous business vivisection is. Vivisectors receive over 7 billion dollars in U.S. government grants every year. This grant money comes out of the pockets of U.S. taxpayers. To make matters worse, the vivisectors themselves decide which grant proposals will receive funding. Through the system of peer review, vivisectors submit grant proposals and sit on the same committees that approve such grants. In any other area this conflict of interest would not be allowed. In the self-monitored world of vivisection, it is simply business as usual. In addition to taxpayer-sponsored government grants, vivisectors also receive money from private charities. This money is donated by well-meaning people in the good faith that if will be spent on valid research. These people hope that their donations will help to find a cure for the disease in question. They are unaware that their donations finance fraudulent, unscientific, experimental research on animals that can never cure anything. Year after year the public is told that the cures to these diseases could be "just around the corner" if only they would donate more money for "research". And yet vivisectors never round this "corner". Of course, to do so, if they could, would put an end to their funding.

In addition to the vivisectors themselves, there are companies that profit from this system. Vivisection consumes approximately 100 million animals a year in the United States alone! [The USA is number one in the world concerning the number of animals “used” in animal testing.] The majority of these animals are purchased from animal breeders. Obviously, the profits to be made by breeding 100 million animals a year are enormous. There are also the makers of cages, restraining devices, surgical equipment, food and bedding material for the animals. The list goes on and on.

The industry which profits from vivisection will do anything to hide its fraudulence from the public. Ironically, it is the very fact that people do not think of vivisection as an industry that keeps them from questioning its scientific validity. As long as the general public is unaware of the enormous profits to be made from vivisection, it does not question the motivations of the people who defend it.

Alibi Tests

In 1957, the West German chemical company, Chemie Grunenthal, released the drug Thalidomide (known in Germany as Contergan and in England as Distaval), a tranquilizer for pregnant women and nursing mothers. It had first been tested on animals for three years, and no adverse effects had been detected. [Time, 1960] On the basis of these animal tests, Chemie Grunenthal was permitted to claim that Thalidomide was harmless for pregnant women and nursing mothers. In October 1961, after further animal tests, Thalidomide was released in the United Kingdom with the assurance that it could be "given with complete safety to pregnant women and nursing mothers without adverse effects on mother or child." In reality, Thalidomide was anything but "completely safe". Thalidomide caused more than 10,000 birth defects in the children of women who had taken it - some born with fin-like hands growing directly from their shoulders, some born with missing or stunted arms or legs, others born with ingrown genitals, deformed eyes or ears. [Ruesch,1983, pp. 360-361]

What happened later provides insight into the real purpose that animal testing serves. This real purpose is a world apart from the story we are told, that animal tests are done to protect the consumers. As we shall see, it is the pharmaceutical companies and not the consumers that animal tests protect.

After the human damage caused by Thalidomide could no longer be concealed, Thalidomide's manufacturer, the West German company Chemie Grunenthal, was put on trial. It resulted in a two and one-half year criminal trial, the longest in German history. Chemie Grunenthal brought in medical experts from around the world to testify on their behalf. The basis of their sworn testimonies was that generally accepted animal tests could never accurately predict human reactions to drugs. [Ruesch, 1983, pp.361-362] Incredibly, Chemie Grunenthal was found not guilty and was not held liable for any damages.

One of the experts who testified at the trial was the Nobel Prize winner, co-discoverer of penicillin, Ernst Boris Chain. On February 2, 1970, he stated under oath: "No animal experiment with a medicament, even if it is carried out on several species, including primates under all conceivable conditions can give any guarantee that the medicament tested in this way will behave the same in humans, because in many respects the human is not the same as the animal." [Hartinger, 1991, p.3]

Reliance on animal tests had allowed the sale of Thalidomide and the birth of 10,000 deformed children. The same animal tests provided the alibi that allowed its manufacturer to get itself off scott-free. The Thalidomide story makes it clear that drug companies knowingly perform fraudulent animal tests simply to provide themselves with an alibi for selling dangerous drugs to the public.

Animal testing continues to provide alibis for drug companies. It allows them to sell dangerous drugs by using animal tests to fraudulently "prove" their safety. After the human damage caused by these drugs can no longer be concealed, drug companies are allowed to defend themselves by saying they "performed all the required tests".

According to Dr. Herbert Gundersheimer, MD: "Results from animal tests are not transferable between species, and therefore cannot guarantee product safety for humans... In reality these tests do not provide protection for consumers from unsafe products, but rather they are used to protect corporations from legal liability." [Gundersheimer, 1988]

Obviously, the chemical/pharmaceutical companies have a great motivation to continue the myth that animal testing is scientifically valid. And these huge multinational companies have the money, power and influence to keep this myth going.

The Status Quo

The public would like to believe that the medical research community would be open-minded, logical and willing to re-examine the theories on which their research is based. On close examination, it becomes apparent that just the opposite is true. Indeed, vivisection continues, to a large degree, simply because "that's the way it's always been done". Researchers and doctors are taught from day one of their training through vivisection, by teachers who were in turn taught the same way. The medical research community seems to have an unshakable tendency to continue an error once it has been accepted. Those doctors and researchers who do question privately are often unwilling to risk their careers, reputations and licenses by publicly opposing the status quo.

One doctor who stood against the accepted medical beliefs of his time was Dr. Walter R. Hadwen, born in 1854. He placed emphasis on diet, lifestyle and hygiene rather than drugs, chemicals and vaccines. He delivered his city, Gloucester, from a smallpox epidemic by ruling out vaccination and introducing strict measures of hygiene and sanitation. [Ruesch, 1989, p.276] A devout opponent of all animal experimentation, he accepted the Presidency of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection in 1910. Dr. Hadwen best explained the tendency of medical men to accept and perpetuate error in the preface to his book 'The Difficulties of Dr. Deguerre': "No medical man during his student days is taught to think. He is expected to assimilate the thoughts of others and to bow to authority. Throughout the whole of his medical career he must accept the current medical fashions of the day or suffer the loss of prestige and place. No public appointments, no coveted preferments are open to the medical man who declines to parrot the popular shibboleths of his profession. His qualification may be beyond reproach; he may himself possess the qualities that command respect; but unless prepared to think and act within the narrow circle of accepted dogma, he must be prepared for a more or less isolated path."

Confusing the Issue

Vivisection is a human health issue. It is not an "animal-rights" issue. Vivisection must be abolished because of the harm it does to people. By constantly debating the issue with "animal-rights" activists who do not comprehend the scientific issue, vivisectors make the public believe that there are no scientific challenges to vivisection. This is blatantly untrue. In addition to the eminent doctors and scientists whose opposition to vivisection you have already read, there have been countless others. Prof. Robert Mendelsohn, M.D., taught and practiced medicine for over 30 years. During that time he had been the National Director of Project Head Start's Medical Consultation Service, Chairman of the Medical Licensing Board for the State of Illinois, Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Illinois, and recipient of numerous awards for excellence in medicine and medical instruction. He was also the author of The People's Doctor newsletter and several best-selling medical books. In a 1986 interview, Dr. Mendelsohn stated: "The reason why I am against animal research is because it doesn't work. It has no scientific value. One cannot extrapolate the results of animal research to human beings, and every good scientist knows that... As far as I am concerned, I have to be opposed to quackery; since animal experiments have no validity and since they lead to quackery in medicine, I have to be opposed to animal experiments as a scientist." [Mendelsohn, 1986]

G.H. Walker, M.D., doctor at the Royal Hospital and the Children's Hospital in Sunderland, England, wrote in 1933: "My own conviction is that the study of human physiology by the way of experiments on animals is the most grotesque and fantastic error ever committed in the whole range of human intellectual activity." [Walker, 1933, p.335]

Sir George Pickering, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, wrote in 1964: "The idea, as I understand it, is that fundamental truths are revealed in laboratory experimentation on lower animals and applied to the problems of the sick patient. Having been myself trained as a physiologist, I feel in a way competent to assess such a claim. It is plain nonsense." [Pickering, 1964, pp.1615-1619]

Recently more and more doctors have formed organizations that oppose vivisection on scientific grounds. These honest, courageous doctors wish to rid their profession of the unscientific practice which keeps us from obtaining our health care goals. These groups include: International League of Doctors for the Abolition of Vivisection (ILDAV) , Doctors in Britain Against Animal Experimentation (DBAE) and League of German Doctors Against Vivisection. The vivisection industry has managed, with the help of the media, to ignore these scientific challenges. The reason for this is obvious: they know that they cannot defend vivisection scientifically.

The Ivory Tower

The continuation of vivisection would be impossible if not for the way it is handled by the media. Reporters receive "news handouts" from laboratories and report them without question. Vivisectors do not receive the type of "third degree" that journalists give to other newsmakers.

We are always presented with newspaper articles about the latest "big medical advance" When we get past the attention-grabbing headlines to the middle of the article, we find that this "big advance" is "in the preliminary stages and will need more years of testing before it is ready for trial in humans." In five years no one asks what became of this "big advance", and people have heard of so many new "big advances" that they have long since forgotten this one. It is interesting to note that when these articles mention the "needed five years of research", they do not mention the additional taxpayer-sponsored grant money that goes with it. This pattern has gone on for many years, and yet most people continue to accept these reports. The reason for this must lie in the fear the general public has of questioning "scientists". Unfortunately, the general public is led to believe that vivisection is beyond its comprehension and can only be understood by "scientists". Vivisectors hide behind scientific jargon and technical double-talk to make people feel that they could not possibly comprehend anything so complicated.

As we have already demonstrated, vivisection is in no way beyond our ability to comprehend and question. Not only do we have the ability to question vivisectors and pharmaceutical companies, but as medical consumers and taxpayers we have an absolute right. It is time to stop devising plans for paying these people to mismanage our health, and question why they are not advancing our health situation.

The vivisection industry has placed itself in an ivory tower above questioning. With our money it has created a system which is completely self-monitored and self-regulated. It is imperative that we take the vivisectors down from their ivory tower, expose their research as fraudulent, and replace it with valid research that will enable us to create a healthy society.


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Note by Healing Cancer Naturally

Many pages of this site put the spotlight on animal-based toxicity testing of drugs & chemicals, particularly cancer research based upon animal models of human disease. Find out many more details of this all-important subject. Learn about further serious implications and detailed scientific arguments surrcounding the issue of animal-based drug research/animal-based toxicity testing of drugs & chemicals and why this subject is of fundamental importance for everyone’s health, recovery and safety, making it a possible matter of life or death for many. Click here for the complete list of Healing Cancer Naturally articles on Cancer Research, Drug & Toxicity Testing & Animal Experimentation: an Unholy Union?.

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