Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
From 11 November 2003 Issue
Animal Testing, A Futile Waste
" Professor Colin Blakemore et al (letter, October 27) confesses that they find it "very difficult to see how progress can be made against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, how new vaccines against malaria and Aids can be developed, or how certain new medicines can be considered suitable to test in people" without experiments on primates.
ANSWER BY: PROFESSOR CLAUDE REISS (letter printed in "The Times", 31 October 2003)
Everything we know about Alzheimer's and Parkinson's has been learnt by studying humans, not monkeys; primates (even chimpanzees) are immune to malaria and Aids, and are therefore useless for studying those diseases; many people have been killed by new medicines that have tested safe in primates but were not safe for people.
Research in monkeys delayed the polio vaccine by 30 years and, more recently, has wasted 20 years and millions of pounds in Aids research programmes which, it is now acknowledged, have been a failure.
In an early day motion 125 MPs have stated that "experiments on primates cannot be justified in view of the important biological differences between people and primates". Medical progress will be far better assured without experiments on monkeys, which serve only to divert money and researchers' attention from genuinely productive avenues of research, of which there are
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