Animal Testing: Science or Fiction?
24th March, 2009
MPs, medical professionals and scientists unite in demanding a thorough evaluation of the utility of vivisection. By Kathy Archibald, Science Director of Europeans for Medical Progress
Most of us know that cancer, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the West. But many people would be surprised by the next biggest killer: side effects of prescription medicines. Adverse drug reactions kill more than 10,000 people a year in the UK (and more than 100,000 in the US), costing the NHS alone £466m per year.
The pharmaceutical establishment constantly reassures us that all drugs are tested for safety and efficacy on animals before they can be administered to humans. When challenged about the ethics of vivisection, their defence typically goes like this: ‘Which do you think is more important: your child’s life or a rat’s?’ Given this choice most people would thankfully sacriﬁce the rat.
But what if you were told that the current animal testing procedures are seriously ﬂawed? Consider the following evidence:
■ Arthritis drug Vioxx, withdrawn from the global market in September 2004, appeared to be safe and even beneﬁcial to the heart in animals, but caused as many as 140,000 heart attacks and strokes in the US alone. The associate safety director of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) described it as the...
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