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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 11:16 AM
Original message
EU, industries want to end animal testing
Monday, November 7, 2005 Last updated 8:27 a.m. PT

EU, industries want to end animal testing

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The European Commission and industry leaders agreed Monday to look for ways to cut back on animal testing, with a view to putting an end to the practice in the long run.

Seven industry associations from the pharmaceuticals, chemicals, cosmetics and biotechnology sectors agreed with the EU executive commission to map out research activities jointly and to cooperate in developing and validating new testing strategies, such a test that uses human cells and replaces rabbit testing.

"I personally believe ... that it's possible to bring the figures down to zero, not in the short-term but in the medium or long term, " EU Industry Commissioner Guenther Verheugen told journalists at the European Parliament.

European businesses and laboratories use about 11 million animals each year for testing, three times as many as 30 years ago. About 50 percent of these are used in research and development of human medicine and biology studies, about 16 percent in quality control and about 10 percent for toxicological and other safety evaluation.
(snip/...)

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1103AP_EU_Animal...
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Debau2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. That is refreshing!
To see industry leaders actually get behind it as well. Unfortunately, that would NEVER happen here!

I am very particular about the products I purchase for this reason. I don't use products that are from companies that still use animal testing. For example, my pets do not eat Iams or Eukanaba, as they test on animals. The thought that my pets would consume a product that was tested on other animals was sickening to me. It costs me a little more but they eat products certified not to be tested by animals.

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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Thanks for the info.
I'll check out switching to IAMS or Eukanaba. I refuse to buy products labeled as not tested on animals.
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. About friggin time too....
..I often think that the members of PETA are a few bottles short of a six-pack, but on the issue of animal testing ANYONE that supports a ban on it gets my blessing...

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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. And they'll get a blasting from me.
I care about humans. The real problem is that companies are not required to test on more animals. Of course the companies want to get rid of animal testing -- they want to sell products, no matter how dangerous they may be to human health, but be free of product liability. If they don't test on animals, they don't have to know about the dangers.
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JudyM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. This is not quite accurate. Co's want to test on animals because they
think it limits their liability. Plus FDA requires animal testing in some cases, e.g. pharmaceuticals. The problem is that it's overused (e.g., shampoo applied directly into bound rabbits eyes day after day to check harshness --- is there really a need to do this in this day and age? we know what hurts our eyes, and let's just keep it out of our eyes), its results do not necessarily translate to humans (we are biologically different than the test animals, in many cases significantly enough to render the testing meaningless) and there are minimal constraints on how these animals are treated, so they are often leading lives filled with unneccessary suffering.

Personally, I view it a matter of progressive politics and compassionate ethics to buy these products, all other things being equal. Pity that you are so turned off by PETA that you refuse to use these products, so many of which don't even benefit by testing. End of rant ;-)
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BJW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-05 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. Do You Have Scientific Training?
As I read this article, the EU is basing its decision on scientific evidence that these tests are either no longer necessary, or ineffective, or misleading, and that there are better alternatives already available, and that they will also fund additional research into improvements in testing technology.

Do you think that this decision by the EU will result in detriments to human health?

Notice I said, "think" not "believe"--please provide supporting evidence for what you think, not just an opinion based on your personal morality or what "everybody knows is true".

Thx.

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SnowGoose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
3. And yet (almost) all of us take medicines when we're sick.
I'm not flaming, I just think it's only fair that someone point out the good that comes from the use of animals in research.

from the article: "About 50 percent of these are used in research and development of human medicine and biology studies".

When I'm sick, I take the medicine - yes, I'm mindful that it comes at the expense of other living things, but so does the agribusiness that makes the soy protein I consume in my veggie-dogs.

I'm guessing that most people would agree that obviously cruel or unnecessary experiments should be avoided, but that when it's a question of science that has a real potential to protect ecosystems, ease suffering, heal the sick, etc., some animal experimentation is probably justified.

Where'd I put that asbestos suit?
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jilln Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. ugh, do some research
There are so many alternatives and animal testing is OFTEN wrong and OFTEN harmful instead of helpful. Or have you not heard of Vioxx, Baycol, phen-phen (or however you spell that) etc.? All that money they pour into blinding kittens to study blindness could be used to help humans instead or PREVENT diseases instead of just creating more pills. By the way, drug interactions are in the top 5 killers after heart disease and cancer, so there goes your theory of lifesaving medicines.

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SnowGoose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I do research every day.
In a School of Public Health. And yes, many people here experiment on animals (usually mice, sometimes rats). And no, no one here "blinds kittens."

Your contention that "There are so many alternatives" is sometimes true, and when such alternatives exist, they tend to be used. In vitro models are generally much cheaper, and the amount of paperwork and committee approval necessary to use animals in research is a substantial barrier that most researchers in academia try to avoid if there's any other way to get to the answer (can't speak for the corporate labs, as I've never worked in one). People don't *try* to make their jobs more difficult. However, there are often not suitable in vitro models in existence.

During a stint in between my master's and PhD research, I worked in a lab that was trying to understand a particular type of adverse drug reaction (caused by anti-psychotics, as well as other drugs). So I have some familiarity with the notion that drugs can have unwanted effects.

There are plenty of diseases, however, where the drug can help or heal you, and without it, you either suffer the disease or just die. Lifesaving medicines really do exist, surely you know that, right? The fact that there are drugs out there that have bad effects doesn't really support the notion that there shouldn't be testing - animal or otherwise.

I accept that some people don't want to be responsible for the killing of animals, particularly if that killing is not necessary (That's why I'm a vegetarian, in fact.). If some people want to take it even further and don't take any medicines when they're sick, don't eat animal products, and don't own any leather, and let's be honest, don't use petrochemicals like gasoline or plastics, since that industry is so detrimental to animals and ecosystems, then I salute those people's strength of belief and moral consistency.

But I've only met a handful of those people, and let's just say they weren't posting on the internets (they lived in a religious commune, in fact). The rest of us are guilty of enjoying the benefits of technology, that like it or not, come at the expense of other animals. The challenge is deciding where you draw the line - that's why I won't eat meat (because I don't need to), but I will take an antibiotic if I have a bacterial infection. And if it were a choice between starving and having a cheeseburger, no question, pass the ketchup.

Maybe you draw the line somewhere else in your personal life - but unless I'm very much mistaken, you do draw a line somewhere. A place where you say, "I know this thing I need/want came at the expense of some animal somewhere, but I think the benefit to me is worth the cost to the animal(s)." Maybe it is a medicine you've taken, maybe you eat meat or eggs or one of the thousand products with stealth animal ingredients like gelatin, maybe you drive a car, maybe you use chemical cleaners or dish detergents, maybe there's paint on your house, maybe you use deodorant.

However, knowing that we all share to at least some extent in the benefits of exploiting or displacing other animals, it just doesn't seem fair for you to say that others ought to draw their lines in the same place you do.

But that's just me.

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BJW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-05 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. Ad Absurdum
It's easy to create an ad absurdum reductionistic argument or take a moralist position to turn the specific subject matter, an announcement by the EU that they intend to reduce and eliminate animal testing, into an "either or" referendum on the morality of using animal in research.

Here's my questions for you and for other posters:

Do you support the EU move to do this?

Do you think the EU is basing its decision on evidence that these tests are either no longer necessary, or ineffective, or misleading?

Do you think that this decision by the EU will result in detriments to human health?

Notice I said, "think" not "believe"--for other posters, please provide supporting evidence for what you think, not just an opinion based on your personal morality or what "everybody knows".

Thx.
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jilln Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-05 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Of course there are some lifesaving drugs
But the idea that they couldn't have been found without animals is ludicrous. If you are in the field you know there ARE groups out there blinding kittens, you know that studies are repeated all over the world because that's how the researchers make a living, even when the results are the same as the previous 1000 studies, and you should also know that animal tests are about 50% accurate, in other words you could flip a coin and get the same results. You should know that contract testing labs test on species until they find one that gives them the results they want. Look up penicillin and how that was scrapped at first because it killed guinea pigs. Look at what aspirin does to cats.

You could also look into how many of the major pharmaceutical companies resist using non-animal tests and all they have done to RESIST replacing animals, even though it IS the law.

Look at how pharmaceutical companies make a pill for EVERYTHING... do we really need a pill for shopaholics? Because there is one, and yes, animals died to make it.

And by the way, mice and rats are still animals, so the fact that your place of business uses them mostly doesn't mean they are causing less suffering.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. But product testing is also for products used by humans.
Edited on Mon Nov-07-05 03:51 PM by damntexdem
It is important to test such things as cosmetics, detergents, and so on. Yes, there are other tests, but animal models are a safeguard.

And you're not the one flaming -- that is coming from the other side.
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BJW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-05 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. Evidence?
Here's my questions:

Did you read the whole article?

Do you believe that the EU's scientific basis for their decision is incorrect, and that this decision will negatively impact human health? On what basis?

Please stop the flaming-claiming and "us versus them" type comments. It's not constructive.

Thx.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-05 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. If they do, I'll stop buying products from the EU with which I'm concerned
If they can't care enough about human health to first test products on animals, then their products must be considered defective.
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-05 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Are you missing the 'sarcasm' emoticon...??
Or are you being serious?
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BJW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-05 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Actually...
the EU is way ahead of the U.S. in several areas regarding protection of human health, including banning/strictly limiting use of antibiotics and hormones in farm animals, outlawing certain intensive-confinement farming practices (exacerbates diseases), outlawing certain carcinogenic pesticides and chemicals, etc.

The EU's decisions have been based on scientific evidence showing that these practices and products harm humans.

Based on its track record, I believe that the EU's decision is based on its strong desire to truly protect humans, and upon scientific evidence. My impression is that you aren't very familiar with the ongoing disputes between the U.S. and the EU when the U.S. govt. tries to pressure it to allow unsafe products into their countries, or how the system really works in the U.S.

In the U.S., even when something is demonstrably shown to be harmful to humans, it can be put on the market. (A bit too complex to explain it all here, so instead, I'd like to STRONGLY encourage you to read up on the laws and regs and the REAL practices of the admin agencies in our country.)

Here's a "lil funny"--An acquaintance of mine who is really into organic food just returned after living in Spain for about a year. She was really po'd because she couldn't find organic food anywhere, in any supermarket, until one day she met somebody who explained to her that basically all of the food is organic (by US standards) and so it didn't need to be separately labeled.
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lovelaureng Donating Member (434 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-05 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
17. I like the sound of this.
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