Updates about our Call for Scientific Debates
02/04/14 Our letter to UAR
06/05/14 UAR's response
27/05/14 Our reply
04/07/14 UAR's response
04/07/14 Our first response
12/08/14 Our second reply
23/09/14 UAR's response
29/09/14 Our reply
Too many eminent laboratories and illustrious researchers have devoted entire lives to studying malignant diseases in mouse models and they are the ones reviewing one another's grants and deciding where the NIH money [US government medical research funding] gets spent. They are not prepared to accept that mouse models are basically valueless for cancer therapeutics, Read more.
Professor Azra Raza
AZRA RAZA Professor of medicine and director of the MDS Centre, Columbia University, New York
When we publish our studies in mouse models, we are encouraged to extrapolate to human relevance. This is almost a requirement of some funding agencies and certainly a pressure from the press in reporting research progress. When will this enter the clinic? The problem is an obvious one. If the scientific (most notably, biomedical community) does not take ownership of the problem, then we will be held to account. If we break the "contract" with the funders (a.k.a. tax payers), we will lose not only credibility but also funding.
Dr Jim Woodgett
Senior cancer investigator Dr Jim Woodgett comments in Nature, explaining the pressure placed on him by the press and funders to imply mice experiments can predict human responses, in order to gain the grant money his laboratory needs.
Britain's leading human rights defence barrister, Michael Mansfield QC, has endorsed the conditions for debates that will hold animal experiments to public scientific account.
A new Parliamentary Early Day Motion 66 (EDM 66) was tabled on 27th June 2017 by Kelvin hopkins MP, highlighting the new initiative Patients Campaigning For Cures (PCFC) and our science team, For Life On Earth. For the first time in history, animal experimentation has been announced in Parliament as a human rights issue too.
EDM 66 places its call for open debate within the context of the animal experimentation community's Concordat of Openness on Animal Research, which commits its signatories to developing communications with the media and public.
In October 2014 the pro-vivisection PR company 'Understanding Animal Research' posted a public agreement to participate in properly moderated public scientific debates organised by the science-based campaign For Life On Earth (FLOE). Given that FLOE's scientific evidence is illustrated soley by the leading medical Board in its field: Europeans For Medical Advancement (EFMA) it will have been clear that the subject for this debate would be limited to the sole scientific concern of EFMA: namely the false claim that animal experiments can 'predict' the responses of human patients in disease resarch and drug development.
Please read our letter dialogue, posted on twitter, which clearly shows UAR making use of red herrings and fallacies to avoid the debate to which they have originally agreed: https://twitter.com/forlifeonearth/status/516905562974724096
Photo: Michael Mansfield QC
What makes these debates unique, and why are they so important to us?
These debates are unique because their conditions have been endorsed as "well set out and fair" by Britain's foremost human rights defence barrister Michael Mansfield QC A panel of judges will be present who will include 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 specifically 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 now demonstrably outdated laws. The significance of this is in sharp contrast to the more casual 'vote on line' or show of hands at the end of previous debates, which all too often even muddle science and morality.
These debates are not about 'reduction' of animal numbers, which is in itself an unsound ethical policy: what about the million of animals still left over in the labs? 'Reducing' animal numbers also ignores current science and there is no sane reason to wait to find 'alternatives' to a method that doesn't work in the first place. Failure must always be abandoned on its own grounds. Existing modern science deserves all our funding resources and the UK must catch up with modern science, inline with the more progressive countries in biomedical research.'
15/10/14 UAR's response
20/09/14 Our reply
Oppose B&K Universal
EDM 66 cites up-to-date medical science, including current understanding of evolutionary biology and genetics, which proves that animal models cause - including fatal - harm to humans. The EDM calls for a poperly moderated, public scientific debate about the false claims that animal experiments can 'predict' the responses of human patients. This public medical detate hearing will be between a senior scientist from the animal experimentation community and Dr Ray Greek, president of the medical Board which leads the field against animal models, falsely claimed as 'predictive' for humans.