Very Interesting Article: The Experiment Is on Us: Science of Animal Testing Thrown into Doubt

 global animal.orgPhoto:  

Taken from ‘About Us’ – see tab on this site.

Ref Mark Johnson – SAV Founder.

Mark was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2000He is a supporter of forward looking (non animal medical) research

Animal testing is a thing of the past and should only be in history books now – and I say that as an MS sufferer; someone who wants a cure for something; but which will not come through animal testing, as animals dont have MS; so why artificially create it in them and then attempt to find a cure using them ? – it makes no sense.   Why not find out using genetics what makes animals different from us (autoimmune illness) and why they dont get MS and yet we do ?  – that to me is progressive research; not simply cutting up animals aka big pharma.


Article Link:

The Experiment Is on Us: Science of Animal Testing Thrown into Doubt

Posted on:

Friday, June 28th 2013

Written By:

Pat Dutt and Jonathan Latham, PhD

 Originally published on Independent Science News and republished with permission.

New scientific research has cast grave doubt on the safety testing of hundreds of thousands of consumer products, food additives and industrial chemicals.

Everyday products, from soft drinks and baby foods, to paints, gardening products, cosmetics and shampoos, contain numerous synthetic chemicals as preservatives, dyes, active ingredients, or as contaminants. Official assurances of the safety of these chemicals are based largely on animal experiments that use rabbits, mice, rats and dogs. But new results from a consortium of researchers and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest such assurances may be worthless (Seok et al. 2013).

The results of these experiments challenge the longstanding scientific presumption holding that animal experiments are of direct relevance to humans. For that reason they potentially invalidate the entire body of safety information that has been built up to distinguish safe chemicals from unsafe ones. The new results arise from basic medical research, which itself rests heavily on the idea that treatments can be developed in animals and transferred to humans.

The research originated when investigators noted that in their medical specialism of inflammatory disease (which includes diabetes, asthma and arthritis), drugs developed using mice have to date had a 100% failure rate in almost 150 clinical trials on humans.

According to Kristie Sullivan, Director of Regulatory Testing Issues at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), this is not unusual “about 90% of all pharmaceuticals tested for safety in animals fail to reach the market, or are quickly pulled from the market“. Wanting to understand why this might be so, the consortium decided to test the effects of various treatments that lead to inflammation, and systematically compare results between mice and humans. This postulated correlation across different animal species is sometimes known as the concordance assumption.

In a first set of experiments the researchers looked at acute inflammation in mice brought on by various stimuli. These stimuli were bacterial toxins (endotoxaemia), trauma, and burns.

To measure responses the authors quantified positive or negative changes in gene activity for thousands of individual genes. The researchers found that changes in activity of a particular mouse gene after treatment typically failed to predict changes in activity in the closest related human gene. This was not the expected result. If humans and mice are meaningfully similar (i.e. concordant) then gene activity changes in mice should have closely resembled those in humans after a similar challenge. But they did not.

In further experiments, the researchers identified another difference. While humans responded with similar patterns of gene changes to each of the three different challenges (trauma, burns, and endotoxaemia), mice did not. The three treatments in mice each resulted in a distinct set of gene activity changes. This confirmed the initial results in the sense that mice and humans responded differently. It also implied that the differences in gene response between mice and humans are attributable not so much to a lot of detailed ‘noise’ but to fundamental differences in the physiology of mice and humans in dealing with these challenges.

Next, the researchers examined the activity of specific biological signaling pathways after similar treatments. These too were highly divergent between mice and humans. Surprised by the consistently poor correlations between the two species, the authors then tested other human/mouse models of inflammatory diseases. Again, the similarity between mice and humans was low.

In summary, repeated experiments confirmed that, when it comes to inflammation, mice and humans have little in common, a finding important enough in itself given the prevalence of inflammation-related diseases in humans. These include allergies, celiac disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune diseases.

Perhaps these results should not be a surprise. Concordance has been questioned by numerous researchers, some of whom have noted that mice are separated from humans by 120 million years of evolutionary change (Stoloff 1992; Greek and Swingle Greek, 2003; Mestas and Hughes, 2004; Knight, 2007). And, unlike humans, mice also suffer from different diseases, lack a gall bladder, have no menstrual cycle, have multiple births, differ in immune systems, lifespan and size, to name only a few dissimilarities.

Thus the Seok study is not the first to conclude that mice are poor models for human disease, but it is notable for being by far the most comprehensive. Combined with results of previous experiments, its conclusions suggest researchers should expect that mouse, and probably other animal testing, is of little use in advancing the treatment of human illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.

In other words, the public is probably being badly served by much of the money spent on medical research. According to PCRM’s Kristie Sullivan, “the National Institutes of Health is giving researchers billions of dollars every year for research on animals”. While missing out on potential cures, the public is also likely being exposed to dangerous or ineffective pharmaceuticals. Animal testing nearly prevented the approval of valuable drugs such as penicillin and subsequent antibiotics, but it did not prevent the thalidomide disaster of the 50s and 60s (Greek and Swingle Greek, 2003).

This finding of non-concordance need not mean the end of medical research. It could even herald a more promising and scientific era. Sullivan believes that medical researchers “simply take for granted that animal models are useful” even though other, and possibly better, techniques for studying human disease are available. These include greater emphasis on human clinical observation and making better use of cell cultures for research.

But wasteful and unproductive medical research is arguably a sideshow besides the misplaced confidence in the safety testing of environmental and household chemicals. While medical failures affect the unwell, chemical toxins have potential repercussions for everyone.

If animals are not useful predictors of important disease responses in humans it is unlikely they are useful as test subjects for toxicological safety. In other words, lack of concordance means that the synthetic chemicals that are found in industrial products, incorporated into food, and otherwise spread throughout the environment, are essentially untested. The regulatory process through which they passed was never a scientifically validated and evidence-based system, but now the evidence shows it to have been functioning as a system of random elimination. “We are not protecting humans” says Kristie Sullivan, noting that “even a National Academy study agrees that many toxicological tests are not human-relevant.”

There are potential alternative toxicological tests, but despite multi-billion dollar grants, and even a human on a chip, the science is still incomplete. Michael Hansen, Senior Scientist at the Consumers Union, has been contributing to recent discussions over replacing animals for the purposes of regulatory toxicology. He acknowledges that “we should be moving towards in-vitro cell-based models” for chemical risk assessments. But how this can be done is not yet clear. Hansen points out that not only is “there a technical problem of how to incorporate them into an overall risk assessment”, but also that “in-vitro alternatives have yet to be validated”. Nevertheless, he still believes specific uses for animal research remain: “for carcinogenicity, for example, mice are appropriate models”.

An interesting question, when an estimated 100 million mice are sacrificed each year for medical research and in toxicology, is why it took so long to test this fundamental assumption. The answer is that it has been tested before, though not nearly as rigorously as it could have been. And the results have, in the view of many, not supported the idea that animals reliably model human physiology (Knight, 2007; Dressman, 2007).

A different kind of answer is that animal research is now big business. One genetically engineered mouse can cost $100,000 while a mouse treadmill can set taxpayers back $9,600 (Greek and Swingle Greek, 2003). For medical researchers, animal research offers a steady income and a successful career pathway regardless of whether, as in the field of inflammation, experiments deliver practical benefits to patients. These are just some of the entrenched interests maintaining the animal testing system. Other prominent beneficiaries include the food and chemical industries which profit from the public perception of safety derived from animal testing.

Going back to the time of ancient Greece, we have used animals to teach us about the human body; however, it was not until 1937 — after 100 people died from taking Elixir Sulfanilamide — that Congress mandated drug safety testing on animals. Since then, literally billions of mice and other mammals have been sacrificed in a Faustian bargain—that their suffering was preventing human experimentation. Seemingly, that calculation was misguided from the start.

The failure of animal experiments to predict human responses and the inability of alternatives to replace them leaves few options. Individuals can to a limited extent protect themselves through avoiding packaged, processed and non-organic food and buying goods made from traditional materials. But ultimately, chemical exposure and chemical pollution are a collective responsibility.


Dressman HK et al, 2007. Gene expression signatures that predict radiation exposure in mice and humans. PLoS Med 4:4.
Greek CR, Swingle Greek, J (2003). Specious science: Why Experiments on Animals Harm Humans.  The Continuum International Publishing Group, Ltd, London.
Knight A (2007) 
Systematic reviews of animal experiments demonstrate poor human clinical and toxicological utility. ATLA 35: 641-659.
Mestas, J and Hughes, CCW, (2004) Of mice and not men: differences between mouse and human immunology, The Journal of Immunology, 172: 5.
Seok, J Shaw Warren, H et al, (2013) 
Genomic responses in mouse models poorly mimic human inflammatory diseases. PNAS February 11, 2013 online edition.
Stoloff L (1992) 
An analysis of the 1987 list of IARC-identified human carcinogens and the correlated animal studies. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 15: 10–13

Postscript (added May 8th)

Readers may find it useful to get an idea of the prior debate over concordance. Below are some of the scientific papers that have debated concordance. We covered this paper (Seok et al. 2013) because we believe it exemplifies a pattern and not so much because it is new.

David Horrobin (2003) Modern biomedical research: an internally self-consistent universe with little contact with medical reality? Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2: 151-4.

P Pound, S Ebrahim, P Sandercock et al. (2004) Where is the evidence that animal research benefits humans? BMJ.  328: 514–517.

A good place to gain access to this literature is at

Pat Dutt is a contributor to Independent Scientist News and Jonathan Latham, PhD is a founder. Independent Science News is part of the Bioscience Resource Project. To receive new articles when they come out, send an email to: info ( at ) or contact them here.





Europe: All EU Citizens – YOUR MEP’s in Europe – Do THEY Support The 8 Hour Limit ?





YOUR MEP’s in Europe – do THEY support the 8 hour limit ?

 Researched and compiled by Mark Johnson – Founder ‘Serbian Animals Voice’ and EU Correspondent –

ALL Photographs by Valerie Cameron and Bill F. of KAALE (England, UK) and show live animals exported from England to mainland Europe for slaughter.

A personal message from Mark.

As you will see by clicking on the ‘About Us’ tab on this site, I have investigated and campaigned against the global live animal export trade for many, many years.   It is ‘the’ issue which is most in my heart; and over those years I have, unfortunately, seen a lot of animal suffering packed into trailers on the roads of Europe.  It has been time for change for many years as things are not good enough at present; it still is time for change for the future, and you (if an EU citizen) can help before May 2014 by writing to all your MEPs that represent your nation / region and ask them to support the maximum journey time of 8 hours for animals in transport throughout the EU.

There is no excuse for animal abuse, and believe me when I say that there is a lot of animal abuse going on with animals being hauled by road across Europe.

Please support this by taking on what I ask below – the animals deserve better; ad we can make that difference.

Regards Mark. 

With thanks to my good English campaigner friends Val and Bill, who’s photos are used here.



If you are a European citizen AND SOMEONE WHO VOTES ?, then please take a look via the following link to see who your national / regional MEPs (Member of the European Parliament) are. Select ‘your’ country from the euro map from the link to then be provided with a full listing of your national MEP’s.  Then, use the ‘Constituency’ drop down at the top of the page to find which MEP’s represent your specific region / area of the country.

You can click on any MEP name and should then be taken immediately to their individual page which provides a contact e mail address and phone numbers for them – this is usually on the right hand side of the page.  These are the e mail addresses which should be used for direct contact, in conjunction with the sample letter given below.

Important Noteyou should ONLY make contact with MEP’s who represent your region.  Please DO NOT contact all MEP’s from all regions; just your own.  Use the ‘Constituency’ drop down at the top of the above link to find which MEP’s represent your area of the country.




8 hours logo

VITA Photo

The 8 Hour Campaign

Web link:

Today, too many animals are transported under unacceptable conditions on European highways.  The most important issue is the duration of many of the transports. Current EU legislation allows for animals to be transported for up to several days. This has to be changed. Live animals for slaughter should never be transported for more than eight hours

This is the aim of the 8 hours campaign – to make any journey for animals last no more than a maximum of 8 hours.




8 hours logo

Why 8hours?

Every year millions of animals are transported along European highways, and too often under unacceptable conditions.  In 2002, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare published the report “The Welfare of Animals during Transport” concluding that animal transports, as a ground rule, should be as short as possible.

This recommendation is, however, NOT reflected in the current EU legislation.

According to current legislation, animal transports which can last up to several days are acceptable as long as the haulier fulfils simple demands concerning rest, feeding and watering of the animals etc. These demands are detailed in the current Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005 of 22nd December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations.  A copy of this regulation can be viewed at:

Select your language of choice from any of the yellow colored boxes.

The 8 hour campaign does not think this (up to several days journey) is acceptable.

It is now time for a major change in animal transport regulations throughout Europe.  And this is importantly where YOU can help to change the legislation.

For a long time, European-wide societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, concerned EU citizens and politicians have argued that something has to be done. Animals for slaughter should never be transported for more than eight hours.

The following link provides a full listing of all current MEP supporters for the 8 Hour campaign across the EU.

 This needs to be vastly increased – and can be done with your help and support by you making contact with your national / regional MEP’s and asking them to support.

 The following is the 8 hours campaign web site statement:

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for 8hours

This is a list of Members of the European Parliament (MEP’s) who HAVE EXPRESSED THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE 8 HOURS CAMPAIGN  as a whole.

This is NOT a list of MEPs who have signed Written Declaration 49/2011 – there are over 300 of these, but we are not allowed to make their names public – but of supporters of the campaign and of its aims as a whole. In fact, some of the MEPs listed on this page have not signed Written Declaration 49/2011 because they don’t sign Written Declarations in general, but they are supporting the review of Regulation 1/2005 to include a maximum journey limit of 8 hours, whenever possible in the relevant parliamentary bodies. – See more at:



2014 Euro Elections

– Things could be on our side in the coming months.

This is why we have to act now !

 Between 22nd and 25th May 2014, the next European Elections will arrive, this is where all of the MEP’s representing your country and region, throughout the EU,  are elected.  So if current MEP’s in your region have not supported the campaign and will be standing for re-election next May, then you, as a European citizen, and as a voter, can mail or write to them ask they either support the 8 Hour campaign (by adding their name to the listing), or you (as a voter) may decide to take your vote elsewhere at election time.

This is your opportunity to request of MEP’s what you wish to see – after all, they are there supposedly in the European Parliament to represent you, their regional electorate.

 You could copy and send the following sample mail to all your currently non supportive regional MEP’s asking them to give their support for 8 hours.



Dear ??  MEP;

As one of your Euro constituents, I notice from information that I have access to that you are currently NOT a supporter of the 8 Hours campaign as a whole.  Supporting 8 Hours as an official MEP supporter on the web site is different to the signing of Written Declaration 49/2011 which you may or may not have given your support to.

 Today, too many animals are transported under unacceptable conditions on European highways.  The most important issue is the duration of the transports. Current EU legislation allows for animals to be transported for several days. This has to be changed. Live animals for slaughter should never be transported for more than eight hours.  This is why the 8 Hour campaign was founded.

 May 2014 sees the next European Elections at which ALL MEP’s are elected.

I, as an animal welfare campaigner who fully supports the need for a maximum journey time across the entire EU of 8 hours maximum, write to ask if you will add your name to the list of MEP supporters for 8 hours.

I have heard concerns from some quarters that it would not for example, be possible to move animals under these time regulations.  I ask you to not accept this argument, as special derogations would be structured by the EU for any such special circumstances.  This 8 hour limit is one which would apply to the long distance live transport of live animals within / across the main EU.

If you are unable to support this campaign with the addition of your signature, then I am afraid I will have to consider giving my vote at the Euro Elections to an MEP / Political Party which ARE much more supportive of this specific issue.

Thank you for your consideration of my request. I am keen to hear your response.

To become a full signed up MEP supporter of the 8 hour campaign, please go to for further details.  You can contact the 8 hour team and add your name via .

I very much hope that you will consider becoming a signed up member of the 8 hour campaign which will lead to my support and vote for you in may 2014.

Yours Sincerely

VERY IMPORTANT – Add your name and importantly, your address to show that you are from the country and national region represent






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Joline Dover 19 March 2013 

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8 hours logo


All Photos – Valerie Cameron and Bill F.