Cutting Down on Unnecessary Animal Testing

June 2, 2007 at 11:49 am (injustice) ()

Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have recently caved under the pressure of animal rights activists (PETA, mostly) and will no longer finance testing on animals that’s not required by law.

Elaine Palmer, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, said that while the company had never supported the idea of animal testing, “We had not been policing it, so that part is new.”

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are the largest largest manufacturers to agree to the ban.

And, sure, maybe sometimes an animal model is necessary. But sometimes (I’m thinking most times), it’s just not.

“It’s very easy to characterize scientific research like this in a bad light,” said Dr. John A. DeSimone, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who had been working under the Coca-Cola grant. “To do medical research, you sometimes need an animal model.”

Not everyone agrees with Dr. DeSimone’s thinking, particularly when it involves tests on highly intelligent animals, as did a study involving a Coca-Cola scientist, financed by Nutrasweet, that cut open the faces of chimpanzees to study nerve impulses used in the perception of sweet tastes.

“I have never found chimpanzee work justifiable,” said Dr. Alan Goldberg, director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University.

We should not support the notion that it’s alright to carve up the faces of chimps so that Coke can better indoctrinate and addict. Especially when there are alternative methods just waiting to be used.

Dr. Goldberg said that over the last 30 years, advances in alternatives to animal models, many of which are usually more scientifically precise, have already reduced the number of lab animals in use by 50 percent.

“The bottom line for me is that I’d love to see animal studies disappear entirely,” Dr. Goldberg said. “In vitro models are cleaner.”

More info about the alternatives to animal testing can be found here.

(Cross-posted at YOUTHinkLeft).

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1 Comment

  1. jenn said,

    why use animals? use prisoners- make them a useful member of society (finally)

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