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THE CATASTROPHE OF GM ANIMAL RESEARCH
Posted 23 May 2001
Animal Aid and Europeans for Medical Advancement criticised a report published today by the Royal Society, claiming that medical research needs more GM animals. The two groups argued that the government should call a halt to this reckless and futile research.
Dr. Ray Greek, Director of Europeans for Medical Advancement, said:
"I am amazed that the Royal Society believes that human disease can be replicated in animals simply by adding one or two human genes. Complex diseases like cancer and heart disease involve thousands of genes, while environmental factors play an even more significant role in determining their onset than genetic factors.
"There are thousands of GM animal models of various diseases but none of them replicates the human condition. For example, 'cystic fibrosis mice' suffer principally from bowel disorders rather than lung infections; the main symptom of the condition in humans, so are clearly not a reliable model of the disease.
"The whole concept of using animals as models for human diseases is fundamentally flawed. Patients and their families deserve better science based on the sound clinical and in vitro methodologies we have at our disposal."
Kathy Archibald, science researcher for Animal Aid, said:
"The number of GM animals used in laboratories is rocketing. We have seen a 960% increase in the past ten years and this looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. The Royal Society is wrong to say GM technology has fewer welfare problems than traditional breeding methods.
"This technology is extremely wasteful of animals' lives; with up to 99% of all progeny being destroyed as 'failures' because they have not taken up the new DNA.
"There is a high level of suffering involved. Some of the more common side-effects of GM procedures include oversized embryos, prenatal deaths, brain damage and missing or deformed limbs, eyes or internal organs."
The pursuit of this research amounts to a catastrophe for the animal victims and the betrayal of the human patients of today and of the future.