Animal Research Is Wasteful and Misleading; February 1997; Scientific American Magazine; by Barnard, Kaufman; 3 Page(s)
The use of animals for research and testing is only one of many investigative techniques available. We believe that although animal experiments are sometimes intellectually seductive, they are poorly suited to addressing the urgent health problems of our era, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, AIDS and birth defects. Even worse, animal experiments can mislead researchers or even contribute to illnesses or deaths by failing to predict the toxic effects of drugs. Fortunately, other, more reliable methods that represent a far better investment of research funds can be employed.
The process of scientific discovery often begins with unexpected observations that force researchers to reconsider existing theories and to conceive hypotheses that better explain their findings. Many of the apparent anomalies seen in animal experiments, however, merely reflect the unique biology of the species being studied, the unnatural means by which the disease was induced or the stressful environment of the laboratory. Such irregularities are irrelevant to human pathology, and testing hypotheses derived from these observations wastes considerable time and money.