Twilight of an Idol: “Progressive” Science Vs. “Pro-Test” Reaction

Soldiers of Misfortune

In January 2006, 16-year-old student Laurie Pycroft formed the “Pro-Test” group in the UK to rally public support for vivisection in the face of vocal animal rights opposition. The group’s spokesperson, Tom Holder, came to the US in March 2008, funded by a vivisection industry front group, to start Speaking of Research, a “grassroots” organization dedicated to mobilizing support for “research,” the universal euphemism for vivisection.[1] In March 2009, Dr. David Jentsch, Professor of Psychology, founded a Pro-Test chapter at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).[2]

With these events, a novel movement of vivisector-activists was born, and the research community opened a new propaganda front, as the failures and obsolescence of the vivisection industry become ever more obvious.[3] Tired of animal rights “terrorists” kicking sand in their faces, vowing no longer to live in fear of attack, vivisectors have taken to playing offense, not merely defense. The transatlantic Pro-Test – more accurately characterized as Pro-Torture — network seeks to generate mainstream support for vivisection, to create a culture of solidarity among rattled “researchers,” and to perpetuate shopworn apologetics for vivisection as both legitimate and necessary.

Despite Labor Party promises to reduce the use of nonhuman animals in vivisection, the UK death toll has steadily risen, with the year 2008 showing the greatest increase since 1986.[4] While the body count has grown in the US as well, the American vivisection industry fears it is losing the battle for hearts and minds to the animal rights opposition.[5] One study claims that support for vivisection among US citizens dropped steeply from 70 percent to 54 percent during the 2000-2008 period, prompting industry front groups like the Foundation for Biomedical Research to invest millions of dollars in “Research Saves” propaganda[6] and Pro-Torture forces to place ads in newspapers and on billboards.[7]

Disinformation Inc.

In essence, the vivisection industry’s propaganda strategy is to sanctify themselves and demonize animal rights. Vivisection apologists tirelessly repeat the ludicrous claim that all advances in modern medicine resulted from nonhuman animal experimentation.[8]This conveniently overlooks the pivotal role played by improved sanitation, lifestyle changes, epidemiological studies, clinical observation, in vitro research, autopsy studies, computer and mathematical modeling, and molecular biology and genetics. Just a few of many medical advances that did not involve experimenting on other animals include the discovery of: how blood circulates throughout the heart, lungs, and arteries; the germ theory of disease; the mechanism of AIDS transmission; the human blood groups; the relationship between chemical exposure and birth defects; the anti-malarial drug quinine; the nutritional and environmental causes of stroke, cancer, vascular disease, and birth defects; and the link between cigarette smoking and cancer.

The Big Lie of vivisection also overlooks the astonishing number, perhaps vast majority, of cases, where vivisection fails dramatically – leading to serious side-effects, disease, and death – and doesn’t even meet minimum standards of predictive accuracy to be called science rather than pseudo-science or guesswork. Vivisectors try to minimize the huge problem posed by the differences between human and nonhuman animal metabolism, reaction to drugs, and so on, but it is their Achilles heel, and the never-ending slew of drugs that “tested safely on animals” yet had disastrous results when given to humans testifies not to a glitch in the system, but rather to a fundamental error and faulty foundations.

Combining fabrication and historical revision with manufactured fear, vivisectors’ second tactic of disinformation relies on the invalid deduction that since animal rights activists oppose vivisection, they necessarily reject medical progress. Should the sentimental views of misanthropic misfits prevail, vivisectors warn, the consequences for humankind would be catastrophic.

But this imposes a blatant false choice (vivisection or no research at all) and the realities are otherwise.  History shows that, on the whole, vivisection has impeded knowledge, delayed discovery, and thwarted progress. Despite ubiquitous claims that the polio vaccine came from experiments on other animals, for example, such studies in fact misled scientists about where the virus enters the body and delayed finding an effective vaccine throughout the first half of the twentieth century Clinical trials of the drug digitalis, used to treat heart disorders, were delayed when it caused high blood pressure in nonhuman animals. Furosemide (Lasix), a diuretic used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease, was almost lost to the public because it was found to cause liver damage in mice, rats and hamsters. Fluoride, which provides protection against cavities, was initially withheld from dental use because it causes cancer in rats.

Animal rights advocates champion a better or valid science as opposed to an inferior or pseudo-science. Paying lip-service to noble ideals such as curing disease and advancing medical progress and the public good, vivisectors march millions of innocents to be tortured and slaughtered on the alter of selfish interest and material gain. Enslaved to erroneous and obsolete paradigms, addicted to the endless flow of grant money, and often contracted to corporations, vivisectors have strong vested interests in perpetuating the ancien regime rather than using sound alternative methods and blazing new trails. And so, while the snake-oil trade continues, millions of nonhuman animals die[9], human animals die from FDA-approved drugs “tested safe on animals,” and cures for cancer and other diseases remain as elusive as ever.  According to Richard Klausner, former head of the National Cancer Institute, “The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades and it simply didn’t work in humans.”[10]

While the vivisection industry brands animal rights activists as “terrorists,” their crimes against humanity are less publicized than their sadism against nonhuman animals. Time after time, vivisectors and pharmaceutical companies have intentionally deceived people about the dangers of marketed drugs. Experiments on nonhuman animals from the 1950s and 1960s failed to establish a link between cigarette smoking and cancer,[11]providing an avenue to mislead smokers decades later.  Having proved in clinical trials that cigarettes kill humans, in 1988 vivisection became a vehicle to intentionally deceive the public[12] and, while humans continued to die of cancer, vivisectors and the tobacco industry worked in tandem throughout the 1990s.[13]Just one of countless examples, the vivisection industry, the state, and corporations routinely conspire to suppress critical reports on drug trials, to publish junk science in leading medical journals, and to fast-track dangerous drugs for mass marketing, thereby knowingly sickening and killing people for the reward of lucrative profits.

The Farce of Animal “Welfare”

Vivisectors pledge strict fidelity to laws and regulations mandating care for the “welfare” of the other animals they exploit. Yet every time activists penetrate the thick walls shielding vivisectors from accountability and scrutiny, the same habitual practices of neglect and cruelty are revealed, refuting the lies and obfuscating rhetoric of “welfare” and the myth that government, oversight committees, and the Animal Welfare Act ensure that vivisectors provide “care” for their coerced captives.[14] Countless cases of cruelty and sadism documented by whistleblowers[15] and undercover activists refute the lies of compassion, concern, and professionalism vivisectors spread in their lip-service to “animal welfare.”

Contrary to claims of government-enforced regulation, Dr. Isis Johnson Brown, a former United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector, resigned in frustration after her supervisors prevented her from enforcing minimal welfare standards.  At a press conference in 2000, she revealed that she was the only inspector in Oregon and was, therefore, the sole person responsible for overseeing 120 facilities throughout the state. While she expected that vivisectors would not welcome her inspections, the systematic corruption at the USDA was an insurmountable issue: What was surprising to me was my own supervisors were disappointed and unsupportive of my efforts to simply enforce the bare minimum standards in the Code of Federal Regulations. The USDA has a good ol’ boy relationship with the research industry and the laws are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. More than once, I was instructed by a supervisor to make a personal list of violations of the law, cut that list in half, and then cut that list in half again before writing up my inspection reports.My willingness to uphold the law during my site visits at the Primate Center led to me being `retrained’ several times by higher-ups in the USDA.”[16]

The Animal Welfare Act regulates details such as cage size and feeding, without interfering in the design of experiments themselves. The state, therefore, condones the most heinous forms of torture and cruelty that university-trained vivisectors can devise.[17]Moreover, the Animal Welfare Act does not apply to over 95 percent of nonhuman animals suffering and dying in vivisection laboratories, through a convenient definition that excludes birds, rats, and mice from the category of “animal.”[18]

The Animal Welfare Act is at best a worthless bureaucratic code; by duping much of the public into thinking nonhuman animals are protected in laboratories, the law works more to promote the “welfare” of vivisectors and drug companies than their captive victims. Similar to the ideological effects of the US “Humane Slaughter Act,” the advertising of “welfare” regulations lures the public into a complacent sleep and reinforces the demented assumption that any level of captivity, torture, and killing of sentient beings is somehow compatible with “humane” treatment.

Corporate and university laboratories are unmarked, hidden, and guarded for good reason (the University of Iowa is building a new $11.2 million vivisection facility underground!). Just as if slaughterhouses had glass walls vegetarian populations would swell, so translucent laboratories that revealed the truth of “welfare,” government “regulation,” and pseudo-scientific fraud would provoke outraged citizens to demand an end to the cruelty and charades their tax dollars underwrite.

First Responders

Whereas in the 1980s the animal rights movement thought it had shut down the fur industry, only to witness its vigorous resurgence a decade later, anti-vivisectionists must not make the same mistake and need to attack every new vivisection campaign and tactic. Amidst a glaring neglect of critical attention to the Pro-Torture offensive, in October 2009 two leading total liberation blogs — Thomas Paine’s Corner (TPC)[19] and Negotiation is Over (NIO)[20] — joined forces with Dr. Steven Best and the North American Animal Liberation Press Office (NAALPO)[21] to create the Alliance for Progressive Science (APS).

The critical analyses of NIO and TPC reached a worldwide audience and did not fail to capture the attention of the new vivisection lobby. One week after the joint campaign began, on Sunday, October 18, Pro-Torture purchased a full-page ad in The LA Times and began posting their propaganda on billboards.  At the same time, UCLA vivisectors David Jentsch and Dario Ringach, Associate Professor of Neurobiology at UCLA,[22] once again refused to debate Dr. Jerry Vlasak and Dr. Ray Greek in a neutral and mainstream forum — CNN — that could have provided them with the vast audience they desperately seek.

Just as they run from “transparency” and accountability, Jentsch and Ringach flee from debate. Their excuse is that they don’t debate “extremists” and “terrorists,” but this is an ad hominem canard. Beneath their puffed-up bravado, Jentsch and Ringach clearly fear a real debate, such as a trauma surgeon and former vivisector (Vlasak) and a physician and prolific anti-vivisection author (Greek) would serve. Far from the security of their scripted sound bites and Internet forums, Jentsch and Ringach fear their feeble arguments and pathetic rationalizations might not win the day, and they would be exposed to the world as the charlatans and sadists they are.[23]

Thus far, TPC and NIO have worked to exploit all available angles. In May 2009, Pro-Torture sought to mobilize public support by way of an online petition which publically posted the names of dozens of vivisectors who otherwise hide in anonymity.  Since the petition in effect “outed” a gang of exploiter who now had names, TPC and NIO published it not as a record of protest but rather as a directory of abusers and legally sanctioned killers. In response to the predictable accusation of “terrorism” leveled by Speaking of Research, we published our basic position:

Tom Holder and those abusers he speaks for fail to grasp an essential truth that lies at the core of this statement: If the Pro-Test Community of “researchers” were not committing atrocities that demand retribution, then they would have nothing to fear. VIVISECTORS FEAR EXPOSURE –  which [we] are eager to provide.  Speaking of Research references a “climate of fear” and yet their community refuses to acknowledge that this is the “climate” that they have cultivated.  Vivisectors imprison animals in perpetual horror and carve up their bodies for fun and profit.  Yet, rather than accept responsibility for the terroristic atmosphere they wallow in, those who openly advocate violence want to blame animal rights activists for the” fear” they experience when their atrocities are thrust into the spotlight.  These people must not be allowed the luxury of anonymity. Those who victimize the helpless — human or nonhuman — demand attention. And we are watching you. We will not go away.”

Moreover, since the Pro-Torture community denies being funded by, or working for, the pharmaceutical industry, TPC and NIO raised the issue with Tom Holder who, as their spokesperson, has a natural facility for lying. In response to our query, Holder wrote: “I have never been paid by anyone in the pharmaceutical industry.” Upon receipt of his categorical denial, we sent Holder a SourceWatch page which identified Americans for Medical Progress, an industry front group, as the corporate entity that bankrolled his move to the US in March 2008 to create a pro-vivisection “grassroots” group, “Speaking of Research.”[24] Sitting on the Board of Directors of Americans for Medical Progress is a veritable “who’s who” of nonhuman animal torturers that would have every interest in spreading disinformation on college campuses and neutralizing potentially critical minds;[25] and what better way to legitimate a corrupt and violent industry than through the illusion of grassroots support and enthusiastic young adults?

The Alliance for Progressive Science

In October 2009, we (the undersigned) formed the Alliance for Progressive Science (APS) to attack Pro-Torture on both scientific and ethical grounds. APS exposes the  powerful economic interests driving the vivisection complex and its clunky 17th century research paradigm during a 21st century era of genetic science, advanced nutritional knowledge, and hundreds of sophisticated technological alternatives to vivisection.

Combating the stereotype of animal rights as “anti-scientific” and “anti-progress,” APS champions a research paradigm that is “progressive” in its embrace of animal rights and development of new technologies that promise qualitative leaps in science and medicine. APS emphasizes that it is the vivisection industry, not the animal rights community, which is anti-science, anti-progress, and misanthropic. Apologists of vivisection refuse to acknowledge the physiological differences between human and nonhuman animals and the artificial setting and simulated conditions of research that yield false and misleading data. Fearing change and loss of funding, they perpetuate outmoded research methods and fail to exploit the full potential of science and technology. Amidst the corporatization of universities and commodification of knowledge, they prostitute science to the profit interests of pharmaceutical corporations.

From the breeders to the white-coat sadists, vivisection is a blood-money capitalist enterprise.  Even with an 18 percent decrease in profits from last year, lab victim breeders, Charles River, earned $37.3 million for the three-month period ending September 30, 2009.[26]The Department of Health & Human Services reports that vivisector David Jentsch received a $176,731 grant in 2008.[27] Also in 2008, out of a total of 940 NIH grants received by UCLA vivisectors, Dario Ringach received two in the amounts of $301,840 and $361,263; Jentsch deposited two checks in the amounts of $427,148 and $69,559; and Edythe London was rewarded for torturing the innocent in the amounts of $100,291 and $120,508.[28] Jentsch, naturally, downplays the co-optation of science by capital and trivializes the money he takes from pharma.[29]

Vivisectors have successfully framed animal rights activists as extremists, terrorists, misanthropes, and atavistic enemies of science. In fact, following the same position pushed by advocates for nonhuman animals since the beginnings of the anti-vivisection movement in the mid-19th century, we are not opposed to science. We only reject bad science, pseudo-science, and corporate science that is antiquated, obsolete, flawed in essence, and perpetuated more for corporate profits than ailing people.[30]

Vivisection, not animal rights, is the real obstacle to medical progress; vivisectors, not animal rights activists, are the real terrorists. Vivisectors steal, capture, or breed their drug and data slaves; they inflict fear, suffering, violence, and death on innocents, slaughtering up to 100 million intelligent, sensitive, and complex beings every year worldwide. It is the height of absurdity and the gravest offense to language and logic for those whose occupation is to torture and kill without remorse to vilify as “terrorists” those whose humanity compels them to defend the defenseless. And the property damage a few saboteurs inflict on vivisection laboratories can never compare to the horrendous violence white-coat terrorists inflict on the sentient beings held captive in their chambers of horror.

The global vivisection industry is not about science but money, playing a massive shell game in which the farce of experiments on other animals legitimates the research and marketing of products and drugs.

Like the USDA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is understaffed, inept, and corrupt. The appalling lack of control in slaughterhouses and vivisection labs, and the revolving door between government and industry, is repeated in the failures of the FDA to regulate the research and marketing of drugs.[31] With the assistance of a corrupt FDA, drug companies have fast-tracked drugs into the market while suppressing risks and dangers. Corporations not only buy products and nonhuman animals and labor, and influence or control entire departments and universities in general, they also buy and control government.

Seen in its proper light, vivisectors, universities, pharmaceutical industries, and others are the real misanthropes and anti-science forces, as they perpetuate a flawed, obsolete, and barbaric research model because it is lucrative business. These servants of humanity not only massacre other animals, they kill humans too and often knowingly market unsafe drugs. Greed and lust for profit fuels the global vivisection industry.

Through the concept of “progress,” APS emphasizes both the moral bankruptcy of vivisection and its antiquated, obsolete, and unscientific nature. Progressive science champions “alternative” methods of research and testing and rejects speciesism to include all animals – human and nonhuman – equally in its sphere of moral concern; it thereby rejects the troubling utilitarian logic that sanctifies scarifying the interests of one group to those of another group if it brings about alleged benefits or “the greater good.”

A Growing Consensus: The Age of Vivisection is Over

Pro-Torture brown-shirt forces are a vivid reminder of how interests tethered to obsolete paradigms will cling with all their might before yielding to progressive change. Just as the Catholic Church attacked science and the monarchies and aristocracies resisted democracy, so the global vivisection complex rails against the moral and technological advances attached to the animal rights movement.

But as ever more critics from the opposition and from within expose the fallacies and failures of vivisection, the case for its obsolescence and retirement to museum of horrors grows increasingly strong.

In 2006, Health & Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt observed that “Currently, nine out of ten experimental drugs fail in clinical studies because we cannot accurately predict how they will behave in people based on laboratory and animal studies.”[32]

And other scientists point to the fallacious claims advanced by vivisectors. Yale University’s Dr. David Katz writes, “Extrapolation from rodent research to outcomes in people is notoriously uncertain and fraught with danger. Basic science studies and animal experiments have resulted over the years in headlines about cures for cancer, a definitive obesity gene and effective AIDS vaccines, to name a few. None of these has yet to materialize, and early hyperbole in each case gave way to disappointment.”[33]

In addition to embracing antiquated techniques over cheaper and more accurate alternatives, vivisectors promote discrimination of our fellow species and deny that nonhuman animals have complex emotional, intellectual and social lives. A particular species is frequently chosen for “research” not because it provides a “good model,” but because it represents a cheap, easily transportable, convenient resource.

We vehemently oppose a pseudo-science rooted in irrational ideologies, obsolete methodologies, and blatant lust for profit and that promotes oppression, violence, terrorism, and murder. Any field of science that defends speciesism employs the same logical defect that has hampered progress throughout history. There is no moral justification for the subjugation, imprisonment, and torture of other animals.

Oppressors don’t give up their power voluntarily, and virtually all profound social change in the modern world has been made through coercive tactics that force oppressors to relinquish power and privilege in favor of more democratic and inclusive arrangements In the nineteenth century, a good number of leading scientific voices were using “science” to justify racism and a wide array of prejudices against those deemed inferior or unfit, thereby propagating pernicious ideologies that helped to bring about Nazism. Today, many scientists pride themselves on the claim that they are beyond such crude and vile distortions and are “enlightened.” In fact, they are laboring with the oldest prejudice on earth – speciesism – and are enablers or direct participants in the holocaust it perpetuates.

In laboring with antiquated models of nonhuman animals, oblivious to the recent scientific revolution of cognitive ethology,[34] and in legitimating practices that torture and kill up to 100 million innocent victims every year, these “enlightened” speciesists are no different than racists. In fact, they are worse, for the costs of their ignorance, prejudice, and self-serving, soul-assuaging mythologies take an incredible toll on human and nonhuman animals alike.

Racism allowed an oppressive white culture to enslave, exploit, and torture African-Americans. It was only through a bloody and violent revolution that the disenfranchised slaves won their freedom. Vivisectors are driven by the same supremacist mentality as any slave owner. And they are equally resistant to freeing their slaves. Future generations shall cast harsh judgment on them, as critical scientists of the current day are opprobrious of their benighted predecessors in the 19th century.

A Call to Arms

We need to unite our community to address the imminent threat that the new vivisection activists present.  Left unchecked, this movement can lobby for laws that further marginalize and penalize activists.

We must be confident, but never complacent. While Pro-Torture forces are small, weak, and amateurish, they must not be underestimated. This can be either a minor resistance that we can beat back or the beginning of a surge that – backed by powerful industries and patrons — can sway public opinion and lawmakers alike, leading to a major setback for our movement that in recent years has seen the death toll of innocents rise in countries such as the UK.

Animal rights activists now have an obligation to acknowledge and counter the new breed of vivisection champions. Their reaction to our alliance indicates that relentless exposure, interspersed with targeted aggressive campaigns against individuals, has put them in a defensive, reactionary mode and exposed their weaknesses. While they pander to the media spotlight, they fear critical publicity. We must provide it. And we can amplify our message if we make a concerted effort within the animal rights community.

As long as vivisection is alive and practiced somewhere, we will relentlessly pursue those who violate the rights of other animals and who retard the movement of moral and scientific progress. We urge all animal rights activists to help APS stop the Pro-Torture movement dead in its tracks. In an effort to maintain a laser-beam focus on the vivisection industry, NIO is establishing a network of bloggers committed to publishing weekly articles. We ask fellow activists to follow us in monitoring the insidious moves of the vivisection industry; to read the essays featured on the NIO, TPC, and NAALPO sites; and to contribute writings of their own for mass dissemination. As often as we can, our websites will broadcast Pro-Torture plans so that our community can disrupt them.

In beating back these new waves of industry encroachment by aggressive Pro-Torture forces, APS does not compete with, but rather compliments, existing anti-vivisection activism. APS seeks to put down the new tactical fronts and propaganda efforts designed to erase two centuries of anti-vivisection activism and to expand vivisection’s trail of torture and death to unprecedented levels for the profits of Big Pharma.

Working together, we can stop Pro-Torture, advance medicine and science, and abolish vivisection altogether. The changes that bring about nonhuman animal liberation will result when society learns the fate of human and nonhuman animals are intertwined; that vivisection kills nonhuman and human animals alike; and that the only promising pathway of change is through preventative medicine and proper diet, epidemiology and human-based research methods, and aggressive development of alternative technologies.

Dr. Steven Best, Philosopher
Dr. Jerry Vlasak, Co-Founder of NAALPO
Jason Miller, Thomas Paine’s Corner
Camille Marino, Negotiation Is Over


[1] On the origins of the Pro-Test groups in the UK and US, see www.pro-test.org.uk,http://www.speakingofresearch.org/, andhttp://www.pro-test-for-science.org/.

 

[2]  The group was founded as “UCLA Pro-Test” and in late 2009 changed its name to “Pro-Test for Science.” See Jentsch’s website at:http://faculty.bri.ucla.edu/institution/personnel?personnel_id=45365.. For Jentsch’s research profile, heavily focused on addicting nonhuman animals to amphetamines, see:http://www.biomedexperts.com/Profile.bme/638932/J_David_Jentsch.

[3] It is somewhat improbable that the visionaries, founders, and driving forces of Pro-Test were not veteran vivisectors like Jentsch, but rather two teenagers. More likely, cunning scientists and industry bosses manufactured their teen-age superheroes to generate media interest and create the illusion of popular support. Given that Pycroft was a high-school drop-out and disorganized “bedroom blogger,” there is some mystery about what — or how much money — sparked his sudden interest in promoting vivisection. See “Laurie Pycroft:  The Making of a Teenage Protestor” (http://www.teachers.tv/video/30453), and “Bedroom Blogger, 16, takes on animal rights activists” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2006/feb/25/news.animalrights).

[4] “The Long Fight Against Animal Testing,” Guardian.co.uk, July 23, 2009 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jul/23/animal-research-rate-rising).

[5] The USDA reports that over one million “animals” (in their arbitrary legal definition that includes nonhuman animals such as dogs, cats, non-human primates, guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits) are experimented on in US laboratories each year. On a more accurate scale of measure, however, namely one that includes the 93 percent of sentient beings used in vivisection (namely: birds, rats, mice, fish, amphibians, and reptiles) the US government excludes from its count (and any legal protection) because it does not define them as “animals”  (!), the number would rise from one million to 34 million (for a critique of governments’ manipulation of definitions and  statistics, and an alternative scale of measure, see Dr. Hadwen Trust, “New research reveals 115 million animals used in experiments worldwide,” August 13, 2008 (http://www.drhadwentrust.org/news/new-research-reveals-115-million-animals-used-in-experiments-worldwide).

[6] “Science takes case for animal research to the people,”StarTribune.com, November 4, 2009 (http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/pets/68093422.html).

[7] See the NAALPO press release, “LA Times Advertisement, Billboard Confirm UCLA Desperation Animal Abusers Refuse to Debate Issues, Spend Big to Counter Exposure of Their Atrocities,” October 18, 2009 (http://www.animalliberationpressoffice.org/press_releases/2009/pr_09_10-18_ucladesperation.htm).

[8]  In an April 10, 2000 paradigmatic statement, for instance, the American Medical Association stated three major industry lies in as many sentences: “Every medical breakthrough of the last century has involved research with animals. The reason is that we have no other choice. There are no alternatives to animal research.” Similarly, in a recent discussion before a CNN audience, Tom Holder shamelessly lied:  “Every single advance in human history has come about because of research using animals…. Should we just stop all types of testing?” CNN Blogger Bunch, “Is animal testing necessary?” November 11, 2009 (http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2009/11/11/dcl.bloggers.animal.testing.cnn).

[9] In April 1998, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported on a study which showed that more than 2 million Americans become seriously ill every year because of toxic reactions to correctly prescribed medicine and 106,000 die from those reactions, making drug side effects the sixth most common cause of death in this country. Legal drugs kill more people per year than all illegal drugs combined. In recent years, considerable media attention was given to the failure of widely used and mass marketed painkillers, Vioxx and Celebrex. One might be tempted to applaud the government for protecting consumers and taking swift, just, and decisive measures, but the Food and Drug Association (FDA) had knowledge of the dangers of Vioxx years before taking it off the market. As evidence became to mount that Vioxx doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke, and was implicated in tens of thousands of deaths, Congress and the FDA had to take the rare act of protecting consumers over corporations. See “Pass Legislation to force disclosure of drug info” (http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/aboutus/mission/viewpoint/passlegislationtoforcedisclosureofdruginfo305/).

[10] Safer Medicines Campaign (http://www.safermedicines.org/faqs/faq10.shtml).

[11] Jonathan Balcombe, “Beyond Animal Research,” (http://www.pcrm.org/resch/anexp/beyond/smoke_0409.html).

[12] SourceWatch, “The Whitecoat Project” (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Whitecoat_Project).

[13] Advancement of Sound Science Center (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advancement_of_Sound_Science_Center).

[14] On November 11, 2009, the chamber of horrors at the University of Utah became the latest fraud  of vivisection.  Business as usual, the atrocities included “mice dead from neglect, dying mice bloated with ulcerated tumors, rabbits and cats with surgically implanted devices on their heads and spines.” Vivisectors were also recorded entertaining themselves with the some of the most horrifically injured victims. The Salt Lake Star Tribune, “PETA spy infiltrates U. animal research labs, documents alleged suffering” (http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13758496).

[15] “OHSU [Oregon Health and Science University] Whistleblower: Interview with Matt Rossell, former lab technician at OHSU’s primate center,” White Coat Welfare, June 4, 2009 (http://whitecoatwelfare.org/rossell.shtml).

[16] “Matt Rossell’s Letter to the Editor of The Scientist”(http://www.vivisectioninfo.org/campaigns/mattrossell/index.html). Most revealingly, Rossell reported on the discrepancy between what vivisectors do amongst themselves, when they laugh at the farce of their “data” and acknowledge the cruelty of their experiments and handling of nonhuman animals, and when speaking to animal rights protestors or the outside world generally, they lie about the value and ethics of their experiments:  “One day technicians would be joking about this research and how much of a joke it was. People would actually be laughing about Dr. Cameron’s latest study – that it even got past the animal care committee. The technician who sat in on the animal care committee would come out of the meeting laughing about how ridiculous the study was and how unbelievable it was that it was going through. On another day, we would talk about how harsh the `roundup’ was where we took the baby monkeys away from their mothers to sell for experiments. Whatever the case was, someone would either be laughing or complaining. And then on the day the protesters were outside, everyone would rally together like, `we’re doing the right thing here and you’re the ones who are wrong.’ So people were willing to discuss amongst themselves all the problems, but when they felt challenged by the outside world, by protesters, all of a sudden everyone would get really defensive and rally together and laugh at the protesters and their silly signs. It’s really weird. One could do a whole psychological study on researchers who work in that environment. It’s really dysfunctional, that is, too focused on intellectual curiosity and not enough on humanity” (our emphasis).

[17] The Animal Welfare Act stipulates “minimal” standards of treatment for laboratory animals; however, the phrase “unless necessary” effectively negates these requirements, allowing for repeated major surgeries, the infliction of pain and distress, withholding of food and/or water if such condition is deemed necessary; the AWA expressly prohibits nothing. See the “Animal Welfare Act” (http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusawa.htm).

[18] See David Favre, “The Story of Rats, Mice, and Birds,” Section B of “Overview of the U.S. Animal Welfare Act,” Michigan State University College of Law, May 2002 (http://www.animallaw.info/articles/ovusawa.htm).

[19] http://thomaspainescorner.wordpress.com/

[20] http://www.negotiationisover.com/.

[21]  http://www.animalliberationpressoffice.org/.

[22] See Ringach’s website at:http://web.mac.com/darioringach/lab/Welcome.html. Ringach claims pressure from animal rights activists forced him out of nonhuman primate vivisection; see “Throwing in the Towel,” Inside Higher Ed, August 22, 2006 (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/08/22/animal).

[23] Rather than a debate, a moderated discussion transpired on November 11, 2009, on CNN’s Blogger Bunch. Interestingly, neither Jentsch nor Ringach participated, continuing to resist the open dialogue they fear will expose their atrocities. Rather Tom Holder was enlisted for panel joined by OSHU Vivisector Michael Conn, who, rather than respond to questions, chose to propagandize his misinformation for the mainstream audience.  Dr. Ray Greek challenged Conn to defend his statements in a public debate. Unable to accept, Conn  ignored the offer and began regurgitating more irrelevant drivel. See “The CNN.com “Blogger Bunch” Discussion: Animal Liberation v. Vivisection,” Negotiation is Over, November 12, 2009  (http://negotiationisover.com/?p=3698). In a statement to Ringach and Jentsch, Dr. Greek deconstructed Pro-Torture’s misinformation campaign and AGAIN challenged the “researchers” to a public debate – the second offer to debate any of the nonhuman animal mutilators in a 24-hour period. Explaining why vivisectors vilify their opposition, Greek writes, “Sometimes researchers present a sweat-drenched fear of public debate because of threats to their life. The fact is, I have probably had as many if not more threats to my life as any of them have. (A little publicized fact.) What they really fear is public exposure to the facts.” See Dr. Ray Greek, “Spin is not the same as a debate,” Negotiation is Over, November 10, 2009 (http://negotiationisover.com/?p=3675).

[24] “Tom Holder (Speaking of Research):  Paid to Advance Pharma’s Capitalist Agenda,” Negotiation is Over, October 24, 2009 (http://negotiationisover.com/?p=3201). While technically a “charitable organization,” the AMP finances industry advocacy movements through Hayre Fellowships. In 2008, Holder became a Hayre Fellow, financing the expansion of Pro-Torture into the US, and establishing the Speaking of Research community as “unofficial” paid advocates of the vivisection industry. See “Americans for Medical Progress,” Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans_for_Medical_Progress).

[25] SourceWatch, “Americans for Medical Progress” (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Americans_for_Medical_Progress).

[26] “Charles River’s Lab Q3 net falls 18%” (http://www.massdevice.com/news/charles-river-labs-q3-net-falls-18-percent).

[27] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:  Expenditures & Results – Project Number: 5P20DA022539-03 Sub-Project ID: 0003 (http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter_SearchResults.cfm).

[28] NIH Animal Research Awards to UCLA 2008 (report.nih.gov/award/trends/InstInfoExcel.cfm?OrgID=577505&Year=2008 – 101k).

[29] “The total amount of funding I have received from pharmaceutical companies in all my years at UCLA (a total of 8 years) is less than the budget I obtain in a single year on my RO1 grant. It is not an immense amount, and it certainly is not the kind of funding that I would need to sustain my research program”  “Interview with Professor David Jentsch about not taking drug company money” (http://www.blog.sethroberts.net/2009/10/21/interview-with-professor-david-jentsch-about-not-taking-drug-company-money).

[30] For detailed analysis of the flaws in modern science and postmodern paradigm shifts, see Steven Best and Douglas Kellner, The Postmodern Turn (1997, Guilford Press) and The Postmodern Adventure: Science, Technology, and Cultural Studies at the Third Millennium(2001, Guilford Press).

[31]  There are many excellent critical analyses of illicit relations between  vivisection and pharmaceutical  industries and the US government, such as  Fran Hawthorne, Inside the FDA: The Business and Politics Behind the Drugs We Take and the Food We Eat (Wiley Publishers, 2005).

[32] “Neurology Today:  FDA Approves Earlier Clinical Trials for Experimental Drugs,” (http://journals.lww.com/neurotodayonline/Fulltext/2006/03070/News___Views.12.aspx).

[33] Preventative Medicine Column (http://www.davidkatzmd.com/admin/archives/wonder%20drugs.Times.8-3-08.doc )

[34] See Steven Best, “Minding the Animals: Ethology and the Obsolescence of Left Humanism,” The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 5, No. 2, Spring 2009 (http://www.inclusivedemocracy.org/journal/vol5/vol5_no2_best_minding_animals.htm).

source: http://negotiationisover.com/?p=3917

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