Mice Cures, But None Work In Humans


Animal experimentation: Mice cured of cancer...but there's still hardly any medication available for humans after years of animal tests.

THE British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) does not share the view of Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam on non-human tests as reported in The Malay Mail on April 26, 'Malacca still mulling over animal test lab plan'. We do not believe that animals are here to be exploited by human beings. The fact these creatures will be subjected to experimentation or testing of drugs is unequivocal proof they will be treated cruelly — by any common definition of the word. Moreover, contrary to what the Chief Minister states, people campaigning on animal protection issues are usually vegetarian and often vegan.

BUAV is opposed to the construction of an animal testing facility in Malacca for both ethical considerations and the lack of scientific validity of using animals in research. Its Chief Minister wrongly believes that animal experiments play a major role in curing major human diseases, but the facts speak for themselves. For example, not one of the 85 or more AIDS vaccines tested successfully' on primates had worked in human patients.

Over 1,000 potential neuroprotective stroke treatments have been tested in animal 'models' but none of the 150 that progressed to human trials has proved successful. A former director of the US National Cancer Institute once remarked: "The history of cancer research has been the history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades and it simply didn’t work in human beings."

Others knowledgeable about this issue have also stated that animal tests are unreliable. A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) statement, released on Jan 12, 2006, said that nine out of 10 experimental drugs fail in clinical studies because it could not accurately predict how they would behave in people, based on laboratory and animal studies. This means that even after all the animal tests, less than one in 10 drugs actually made it to become prescription drugs.

It is a massive failure rate, which the US FDA, one of the main drug regulators in the world, acknowledges. Far from demonstrating that animal research is 'vital' for human health and safety, such facts should make the average person seriously question these cruel and archaic practices. It is true that animal experiments have been used for hundreds of years, but it is time to move on. In the 21st century, we have technological options not available before — computer modelling, human cell and tissue cultures, microdosing, sophisticated imaging and analysis.

There is a huge range of nonanimal research techniques that, as well as being a more humane approach to science, can also be cheaper, quicker and more effective. Hence, we urge the Malaysian government to put an end to the negotiations between India-based Vivo Biotech and the State government-owned Melaka Biotech, and not embark on the controversial business of animal research.

Sarah Kite, Director of Special Projects, BUAV.

Malay Mail: http://www.mmail.com.my/content/34775-animal-experimentation-mice-cured-cancer

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© Keith Mann