The Civil Abolitionist
Subjects covered in Summer 1997 Issue

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The Civil Abolitionist is a quarterly newsletter devoted to recent news and opinion demonstrating that animal experimentation is at best a roundabout way to search for answers to human health problems.  At worst, reliance upon animal experiments has misled scientists and caused much harm, e.g. death, when the results are tried out on humans.  Because of interspecies differences, it is only by coincidence that the results of animal experimentation are applicable to human conditions. Subscriptions are $5 a year. (Foreign subscriptions c. $8, or 5 British pounds)  Sample copy, sent free via s'mail on request.  A donor is underwriting free subscriptions to libraries which request them.  American subscribers also receive "C-paper", an update on wildlife issues, when it can be included without incurring extra postage.


GENETIC ENGINEERING  by Helen Fullerton, Msc., Ph.D.                     (complete article)

The cloning of an adult sheep, by multiplying cells taken from the udder, presents a dangerous situation which has aroused world-wide demand for more regulation of this technology. Once this information is released, it could be taken up in any state that does not have regulations preventing it being carried out on humans.

The sheep photographed in
The Daily Telegraph was entirely different from the two in Farmer's Weekly. We wonder why the source of the cloning was not also shown on TV and in the press as proof of two identical animals. Is the source still alive? It is hard to be convinced that an electrical charge passed through some cell contents can take the place of sexual fertilisation. Are the males of this world about to become obsolete?

The publicized information did not give details of how many unsuccessful cases had resulted from these experiments nor what suffering it had caused the animals. Over 200 attempts to get the implanted cell to perform successfully indicate a lot of stress for the animals. We know that Tracy, the genetically engineered sheep, who produced a human drug in her milk, cost 2 million pounds to produce (c.$3 million), and many other sheep had to be destroyed.

One must consider that this money might better have been spent on research to resolve and prevent the human medical problems they are trying to treat.

Listening to the cloners on the media gives one the impression that they are carried away by their own abilities and have thrown caution to the winds. One ridiculed the existence of a god and another referred to nature as "a bitch" when questioned about his attitude to altering the normal rules of nature.

The cloning of farm animals aims to serve two purposes:

1. to produce identical animals for research projects, thus eliminating possible variations due to the breeding which could confuse results.

2. to concentrate the desired characteristics in high quality animals.

However, cloning would also concentrate the undesirable traits and reduce genetic variety, which is needed as a basis for developing new types of animals and plants.

As some desired characteristics in plants are not confined to one gene, genetic engineering would be required to deal with several traits. Insertion of more than one gene would certainly increase the possibility of cell reaction, leading to production of toxins, known and unknown, and allergens.

As many research programs can now successfully use animal tissues rather than the animal itself, do we need clones for experimental work? We note the Government has reduced funding for this research but are aware that one of the multi-national chemical companies, Bayer, is providing most of the funding.

Summer 1997

Other articles in this issue include:

The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, has acknowledged to the Associated Press that the patent it is seeking on its animal-cloning process will include the human species. Genetic researchers there cloned Dolly, a sheep, from cells taken from the udder of another sheep.

Britain's Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the National Health Service Breast Screening Program aim to settle once and for all whether hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of breast cancer,



UPDATE ON BSE ("mad cow" disease)
Dangers of transmission to dogs: identified in golden retriever in Norway fed on British tinned dog food; packs of hunting hounds fed on "downed" animal carcasses.

Professor Richard Lacy wants mass burial sites of cows monitored like toxic waste dumps.

Evidence of the causative role of organophosphate (Phosmet) in BSE epidemic.

        by Prof. Pietro Croce, MD

Spiroptera carcinomatis (for which the 1926 prize was awarded) never existed at all.

A shiatsu practitioner describes her "little mongrel dog's" assistance in her practice.

Canadian doctor denounces her profession's "lucrative relations with      the pharmaceutical industry."

Adverse drug reactions cost Americans $76 billion a year, c. $300 each.

Prozac vs. counseling in treating postpartum depression.

The downside of aspirin in pregnancy.

Fairness in Drug Testing: the
British Medical Journal discusses morality of testing drugs on poor people in third world countries.

Hay fever drugs containing terfenadine, blamed for 14 deaths, made available by prescription only.

Nature Medicine gives perspective to glowing reports of triple drug treatment for HIV.

Painkillers blamed for causing Chronic Daily Headache they are sup

(Continued on page 5)

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