We have received a shocking letter from the Dept of Health, written on behalf of the Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman MP, Vince Cable MP and Dan Poulter MP, in response to our request that they sign Parliamentary EDM 22. Significantly the letter contains no scientific references and supports an archaic position by regurgitating Victorian medical principles which have been empirically proven false by current scientific knowledge. The letter clearly shows the Dept of Health is not up-to-date with current understanding of evolutionary biology and complexity science.
Dr Ray Greek, President of the leading medical Board which opposes animal experiments for human patients (Americans and Europeans For Medical Advancement) has responded on our behalf to the shockingly inaccurate scientific claims made by the Dept of Health. In stark contrast to the Dept of Health, Dr Greek's letter is supported by 40 references from the peer reviewed scientific literature. To read Dr Greek's letter please visit this link.
The Dept of Health's letter appears to have been dictated by vested interests who still make money from animal experimentation. It contradicts a wide range of experts from the scientific community who absolutely accept that animal experiments fail as predictive models for human patients, including pharmaceutical companies who acknowledge the failure of animal models in their drug development process and write about this openly and often in the scientific literature: The British Medical Journal's Editors Choice, published in June 2104 reflects this position; titled How Predictive and Productive is Animal Research? the article concludes by quoting from the paper it cites:
"If research conducted on animals continues to be unable to reasonably predict what can be expected in humans, the public's continuing endorsement and funding of preclinical animal research seems misplaced".
This issue is amplified because animal experiments continue to receive the lion's share of research funding and also use the most number of lab animals, annually. As highlighted in a recent talk by Dr Andre Menache, around 75% of the 4 million animals used in experiments in 2013-14 were claimed able to benefit human patients. This statistic is confirmed in a recent medical blog by Dr Ray Greek.
The continued mis-application of outdated research principles in the study of human diseases, cures and treatments due to the ignorance of the Dept of Health has direct serious consequences for public health. We will continue to campaign for the abolition of laws which keep this mal practice in place, until the law is updated to reflect current scientific knowledge.
The Department of Health sends us a shocking letter, refuted by the wider scientific community including the British Medical Journal
Posted - 11th February 2015