Science of animal testing thrown into doubt

11 May

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New research The Experiment Is on Us: Science of Animal Testing Thrown into Doubt – by Pat Dutt and Jonathan Latham, strongly suggests that animal testing does not meaningfully protect us from unsafe food additives, pesticide  contaminants, and other industrial chemicals.

National and international regulatory frameworks for protecting humans from chemical exposures are heavily dependent on animal testing. A premise of animal testing is that mice and other animals mimic human responses to carcinogens and other toxins. Yet even though most of toxicology and medical research rests on it, the idea of ‘concordance’ between species has not until now been systematically tested.

A major body of new research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (Seok et al, 2013), finds that “although acute inflammatory stresses from different etiologies result in highly similar genomic responses in humans, the responses in corresponding mouse models correlate poorly with the human conditions . . . “.

The study “supports higher priority for translational medical research to focus on the more complex human conditions rather than relying on mouse models to study human inflammatory diseases” and concludes that mice have negligible usefulness as experimental models for humans in the study of inflammatory diseases – an important class of human illnesses.

If, Dutt & Latham conclude, these results can be extrapolated to other diseases and disorders, then current toxics testing is deeply flawed and so too is much of medical research.

Since toxics testing procedures are likely to be worthless there is a strong case for advising the public to taking steps to protect themselves by avoiding processed and non-organic foods.

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 The Bioscience Research Project adds a note:

Many other studies have cast doubt on the concordance of animal and human studies. A previous study may also be of interest:Comparison of treatment effects between animal experiments and clinical trials: systematic reviewby Perel et al. (2007) in BMJ 334(7586): 197. The Seok et al. (2013) study is special in that it compares, using several different analytic methods, the underlying molecular responses of both mice and humans to several different inflammatory stresses.




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