Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Letters

Animal testing doesn't help people

Published in THE JOURNAL NEWS, May 3, 2003

On April 27, Animal Defenders of Westchester held a demonstration against the annual March of Dimes Walkathon. These are some of the points we raised:

- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that birth defects are on the rise, despite the $1 BILLION raised by MOD thus far;

- Animal testing has many times led medical research down the wrong path: some examples being thalidomide, a drug commonly given to pregnant women that resulted in severe birth deformities, which had been shown to be safe in animal studies; and the antibiotic streptomycin, tested on guinea pigs, dogs and pigs, and deemed 'safe' for people - but infants who were given the drug suffered brain damage, went blind and deaf, or died;

- Even birth-defect researchers admit the difficulty of interpreting animal tests because of the fact that any substance can harm fetal development if given in the right dose to the right species at the right time. This is called Karnofsky's Law, and it's often used to excuse the inaccuracy of animal studies.

In addition, spina bifida, or "open spine" in fetuses, which could and should be non-existent as it involves a simple dietary change, is alive and well and being treated via dangerous, invasive prenatal surgery; MOD should be far more active in educational outreach and assistance programs. Furthermore, dioxin and other proven endocrine disruptors, which are known to effect the unborn, are still widely used. The MOD marchers should march right over to the Environmental Protection Agency, which is proving to be little more than a rubber stamp for the chemical companies.

Kiley Blackman

Yonkers

The writer is spokesperson,
Animal Defenders of Westchester


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