Animal Experiments vs Human Patients

Why is EDM 66 so vital?

Animal experiments are still maintained by outdated, now proven false science

Parliamentary EDM 66 enables MPs to call for medical evidence to be heard, which now proves beyond doubt that animal experiments are failing the search for human treatments and cures. This evidence is crucial because 75% of all animal experiments are sanctioned under the guise that they can predict the responses of human patients - in medical research and the safety testing of new human medicines - but this claim is now acknowledged as entirely false by the wider scientific community, outside the vested interests of animal-based researchers.

EDM 66 calls for a rigorous public scientific debate about claims that animals can predict human responses: the debate will be judged by independent experts from the relevant fields of science. Britain's foremost human rights defence barrister has endorsed the debate conditions as "well set out and fair".

What makes this opportunity unique?

The EDM's called-for debate is unique and historic because a panel of judges will decide its outcome, including experts from the fields of clinical medicine, complexity/chaos theory, philosophy of science, evolutionary biology, clinical research, drug development and basic research. The debate conditions are designed to achieve a scientific result which can be submitted as evidence in a wider legal action as well as to government bodies, in order to change outdated laws that still require animal testing, despite its now proven failure for humans.

The wider scientific community agrees

Experts in the wider scientific community, outside animal-based researchers, agree that animal models are now demonstrated to hold no predictive value for human patients.

The FDA states that nine out of ten new human medicines fail the first stage of human clinical trials because animals cannot predict human outcomes [1]

Leading scientific journals are increasingly reporting on this, including The BMJ which published its Editor's Choice in June 2014, titled How Predictive and Productive is Animal Research?

[2] This article concluded by quoting from the paper it cited: 'If research conducted on animals continues to be unable to reasonably predict what can be expected in humans, the public’s continuing endorsement and funding of preclinical animal research seems misplaced'.

Pharmaceutical companies openly acknowledge the failure of animal models in their drug development process, and write about this often in the scientific literature, please visit this link for extensive and referenced quotes.

Current understanding of evolutionary biology and complexity means that a rapidly growing number of internationally respected experts are warning about the dangers of the continued use of animal models [3-4].

Award winning oncologist Dr Azra Raza, director of the MDS Centre at Columbia University, stated the following in her TEDx talk “One of the reasons is that our system for developing drugs for cancer is essentially broke. We CAN and SHOULD do better! I am here on this stage today really because of the mouse. Earlier this year I pointed out that one of the reasons we are not developing novel therapies for cancer fast enough is that we have been relying too much on animal models. I've been getting hate mails since then, but the fact of the matter is that we cured acute myeloid leukemia in mice back in 1977 and in humans to day we are using the same drugs with absolutely dreadful results. We have to stop studying mice because it is essentially pointless and we have to start studying freshly obtained human cells".

The National Cancer Institute has said we have lost cures for cancer because studies in rodents have been believed. [6]

Arguably the most famous example of all – penicillin - is cited in EDM 66. Discovered by Alexander Fleming, penicillin was delayed for human patients by over a decade because it has no effect on rabbits. Alexander Fleming said this about animal testing:‘How fortunate we didn’t have these animal tests in the 1940’s, for penicillin would probably never have been granted a license and the whole field of antibiotics might never have been realised.’[7]

The purification of penicillin, by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, helped it become the miracle cure that has saved millions of lives. Here is Howard Florey on the toxicity tests he used: ‘Mice were used in the initial toxicity tests because of their small size, but what a lucky chance it was for in this respect man is like the mouse and not the guinea pig. If we had used guinea pigs exclusively we should have said that penicillin was toxic and we probably should not have proceeded to try and overcome the difficulties of producing the substance for trial in man.'[8]

Today, Drs. Greek and Shanks have named Trans-Species Modeling Theory, which is akin to the Theory of Relativity and Theory of Evolution, in that it places decades of practical examples within a wider context - in our case evolutionary biology and complexity science - to explain how and why animals have always failed as predictive models of humans - and always will fail.

FOR LIFE ON EARTH

'Time to Hear the Scientific Evidence' is presented by For Life On Earth (FLOE), the science-based campaign highlighted in EDM 66.

OUR VISION

Our vision is to effect the immediate abandonment of experiments on sentient animals. These experiments not only injure and destroy animals but are now scientifically proven to cause alarming harm and fatalities to humans, delaying the arrival of effective treatments and cures. This issue really is ‘Animal Experiments versus Human Patients’ and the time to hear the scientific evidence is now!

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References

1.FDA. 2010. FDA Issues Advice to Make Earliest Stages Of Clinical Drug Development More Efficient. FDA, June 18, 2009 2006 [cited March 7, 2010].

2.BMJ 2014;348:g3719 available here

3. Shanks N, Greek R Animal Models in Light of Evolution Boca Raton: Brown Walker Press; 2009

4. Shanks N, Greek R, Greek J: Are Animal Models Predictive for Humans? Philos Ethics Humanit Med 2009, 4:2,

5. Lumley CE, Walker S Lancaster, Quay, editors, 1990, 'Clinical Toxicity – Could it have been predicted? Post-marketing experience', 57–67; Heywood R. Animal Toxicity Studies: Their Relevance for Man.

6.Gura T: Cancer Models: Systems for identifying new drugs are often faulty. Science. 1997, 278 (5340): 1041-1042. 10.1126/science.278.5340.1041.

7. Parke DV: Clinical Pharmacokinetics in Drug Safety Evaluation. ATLA 1994, 22:207-209.

8. Florey H: The advance of chemotherapy by animal experiment. Conquest 1953, 41:12.