The American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) expressed
grave concern today over the ongoing uses of animals in biomedical
research. This stems from recent published reports announcing the
genetically altered monkey, "ANDi", and the intent to produce a human
infant through cloning, as reported in last week's Science.
AAVS urged the American public to become more vigilant
when it comes to genetic engineering, because it is no longer simply a
question of scientific possibility; it is a moral one.
Within a few weeks of government funded researchers
basking in the media coverage of their new animal creations, other
scientists have reported their intent to clone a human baby within the
next two years. In addition, Britain's Parliament recently voted to
allow limited cloning of human embryos.
"We have always opposed the genetic modification of
animals because it is morally wrong and because of the inherent animal
suffering," said Tina Nelson, Executive Director of AAVS. "The fact that
this research is now seeping towards the use of humans as experiments is
extremely troublesome. We believe that this use of animals-both human
and non-human-represents an overriding lack of ethical grounding and
justification in scientific research. Where and when will they draw the
"ANDi" was the object of scientists' manipulation of
gene structure and is the result of an egg injected with a green
fluorescent protein, like that of jellyfish. Though genetic alteration
of animals has been ongoing since 1976, researchers believe that this
latest discovery will allow them to specifically inject genes into
animals that cause human-specific diseases and ailments.
"Considering that researchers are intentionally
"creating" diseases in animals that would otherwise never suffer from
them, makes the practice of using animals all the more unnatural,"
Nelson added. "Furthermore, once an animal's genetic pattern has been
disrupted, new effects may very well occur that would not ordinarily be
present in humans."
The American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) is a
non-profit animal advocacy and educational organization dedicated to
ending experiments on animals in research, testing, dissection, and
education. Founded in 1883, AAVS is the oldest organization in the
United States dedicated to eliminating experiments on animals. AAVS
pursues its objectives through legal and effective advocacy, education,
and development of alternative methods.
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