March of Dimes FACT SHEET
The March Of Dimes' Crimes Against Animals Experimenters
funded by the March of Dimes have: sewn shut newborn kittens' eyes, then
killed them after they had endured a year of blindness. put newborn kittens
in completely dark chambers, then killed them after three to five months.
removed fetal kittens from the uterus, implanted pumps into their backs to
inject a drug that destroys nerves, then re-implanted the fetuses in the
uterus. After the kittens were born, they were killed and studied. implanted
electric pumps into the backs of pregnant rats to inject nicotine, even
though the dangers of cigarette smoking to human babies is already known.
They injected pregnant rats with
cocaine, though the dangers of cocaine to human babies is already known.
They injected newborn opossums
with alcohol, decapitated them an hour to 32 weeks later, then removed and
studied the gonads (immature sexual organs), though the dangers of alcohol
to human babies is well known.
They transplanted organs from
pigs to baboons, most of whom died within hours.
They transplanted organs from
guinea pigs to rats. destroyed the ear drums of unborn lambs, then killed
the mother sheep and lambs just before birth to examine the brains.
Despite these experiments, the Centers for Disease Control
reports that birth defects are occurring more often. Of 38 birth defects
studied over a 10-year period, an astounding 27 have increased in frequency,
nine occur at the same rate, and only two have decreased in frequency.
There are many reasons for this, but the most important is
that the human physiology is vastly different from the physiologies of other
species. It's true that all animals are sentient beings capable of feeling
pain, but the similarities essentially end there.
For example, testing chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, and
addictive substances on pregnant animals and then trying to apply the
results to humans is a waste of lives and money because humans are so
different from other animals.
humans have a longer period of fetal development, so may
be more sensitive to birth defect-causing agents than other species.
genetic differences among species of animals affect the
way they react to chemicals.
different species develop in utero at different rates
and along different schedules, calling into question animal studies on
chemicals that affect fetuses at different stages of development.
differences in the placenta may affect the absorption of
chemicals among species. the route of administration of a potential birth
defect-causing agent to the animal may not be the most common route of
human exposure. For instance, animals may be given nicotine intravenously,
whereas human exposure is through inhaling cigarette smoke.
animals are rarely given chemicals on the same time
schedule as humans. Animals are usually given a large amount of a
substance over a short period, while people are usually exposed to small
amounts over a long period.
stress imposed by animal handling, food or water
deprivation, and restraint have been shown to affect test results.
animals learn and show intelligence differently from
humans, and animal studies usually cannot detect a substance's potential
for causing learning or behavioral problems in babies.
Even birth defects researchers admit the difficulty of
interpreting animal tests because 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 by experimenters to excuse the
inaccuracy of animal studies.
Human Studies Save Human Lives
Virtually all known developmental hazards were identified
through studies of human populations.
Human-based research identified:
dangers of thalidomide, a drug commonly given to pregnant women in the 1950s
that resulted in severe physical deformities; animal studies had shown
thalidomide to be safe.
The risk of birth defects associated with rubella during
The association of folic acid deficiency with spinal cord
The disastrous effects of lead, methyl mercury, and
alcohol on developing fetuses.
March of Dimes could save more babies if...it
put donations into under-funded programs that have been proven to prevent
birth defects and help babies.
An estimated 25 percent of all infant deaths could be
prevented if adequate pre-natal care were provided for the 1.2 million women
who need it every year.
Infant deaths would decrease by as much as 10 percent if
women who smoke (25 percent of pregnant women) gave up cigarettes during
Alcohol abuse during pregnancy is the leading cause of
preventable birth defects, and there are not enough affordable addiction
treatment programs for the women seeking help-yet precious resources are
wasted injecting rats and other animals with alcohol.
The establishment of a National Birth Defects Registry can
help to identify causes-and pave the way toward prevention of-birth defects.
Data from the registry could be analyzed to look for possible patterns or
clusters of birth defects that may be associated with certain environmental
exposures or genetic traits.
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