Europe prepares to repeat painful toxicity
experiments on animals that have no
scientific relevance for humans
The European Commission has proposed retesting 30,000 chemicals already in common use so we already know how they affect humans. This will entail an estimated 50 million animals being painfully poisoned to death. Similar proposals in the United States (the modified High Production Volume -HPV program), originally scheduled to kill 90 million animals, will still inflict the same torture on over 1 million animals.
These tests might be justifiable to the uninformed eye of the general public if they are perceived to protect humans from being poisoned. They offer no such protection, however, and simple logic dictates they should not be performed.
German surgeon Werner Hartinger,MD, speaking in the Italian Parliament in 1989, declared, "There is no sound basis for animal testing...It has no scientific basis because the results of vivisection have no value whatsoever until they are reproduced in man. The metabolic breakdown is completely different between man and other species. Man is the only effective yardstick."
On the same occasion sponsored by Italian Health Department, Dr Bruno Fedi, MD, Professor of Pathological Anatomy and Urology at the University of Rome denounced vivisection as being completely unscientific...No animal can mimic man because of fundamental differences in metabolism and enzymes as well as in the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems...Vivisection has no protective value for man...All we know has been learned on man.
Many of these chemicals are already known to be harmful indicating that exposure to them should be avoided or minimized. Many have previously undergone animal tests so that data is available on their effects on animals should anyone require it. There is much suffering, a great waste of money, and no value in repeating tests that had no relevance for humans the first time round.
Scientific A-V groups unite to oppose EU toxicity testing
Three European organizations are lobbying members of the European Parliament to inform them of the dangers of using animals to assess chemical toxicity for humans,
Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine, an international group based in London, Pro Anima in France and Comitato Scientifico Antivivisezionista in Italy, have joined forces to save 30 million animals from useless suffering and many more millions of humans from the dangerous effects of chemicals that might be approved on the basis of their effects on animals.
In a letter given to every member of the European Parliament, they wrote:
"We, the three undersigned organisations, call upon all members of the European Parliament to reconsider the plan involving toxicity testing of chemicals and especially pesticides by methods proven unreliable. The projected tests, based on animal models, are indeed scientifically irrelevant for human beings. We call instead for truly scientific testing, using methods derived from modern biology, which enable the reliable assessment of short and long-term toxic risks in mankind. This science-based toxicology produces faster, cheaper and far more reliable results than animal tests. The immediate adoption of these methods would add significantly to consumer safety and should therefore be considered by the EU as an absolute priority, in compliance with the precautionary principle...
"Within the EU today, official statistics reveal that over one million people die prematurely every year as a result of consuming chemically laden products. In addition, experts agree that 80 to 90% of cancers are attributable to carcinogenic chemicals present in the environment in which we live, and cancer is now the number one cause of death in people in their prime of life (age 35 to 65). In addition, acute toxicity from prescription medicines (adverse drug reactions) now rate as the fourth leading cause of death in the EU, claiming 120,000 lives each year, a figure which could probably be double or even tripled if we include longer term, or chronic toxic effect of drugs."
The Civil Abolitionist
Spring 2002 v.13 no.1