Doctors in Britain Against Animal Experiments
Third International Scientific Congress

For the first time, lawyers joined doctors to seriously question the validity of animal experimentation in relation to human health at DBAE's Third International Scientific Congress, London, 10 May 1995.

Dr. Peter Mansfield, President, emphasized that "if animal experimentation were to stop tomorrow, everyone would be healthier."

Speakers

Dr. Peter Mansfield, MD (Britain)
Mr. Michael Mansfield, QC (Britain)
Dr. Madeleine Petrovic, Doctor in Law (Austria)
Prof. Pietro Croce (Italy)
Dr. Fabrizia Pratesi (Italy)
Dr. André Menache (Israeli)
Naomi Calligaro (Ireland/UK)

Theme: What kind of research makes for safe and effective medicine?

Extracts from Speeches:

Dr. Peter Mansfield (MA, MB, B.Chir., Cert.GAM, MIPsi.med.) Founder - President, DBAE.
Keynote Speech from the Chair

Dr. Mansfield said that previous Congress proceedings set out with considerable authority the falsity of a medical science based on animal research, and suggested the kinds of methods which should take their place. "The public, and an impressive number of medical and allied and professional people, are very clear that they want change. Yet the only response from the medical research establishment has been to intensify its resistance to change. As they are losing the arguments, they resort to less honourable methods - false accusations of 'terrorist methods', and polite but unscrupulous media censorship are two conspicuous new tactics."

Dr. Madeleine Petrovic, Doctor in Law, Chairperson, Austrian Green Party in Parliament, Austria
Political Reasons for Animal Testing

"Chronic diseases are on the increase, and patients are suffering from illnesses which receive no real help from Medicine and are therefor incurable. The question arises of why there is no progress; how does legislation react to this; and why are politicians not open to arguments which are so obviously straightforward? Are these people so evil? Are they so stupid? What is going on, I ask myself?...
"I have had talks with many doctors and scientists who are perfectly convinced that animal testing is dangerous, not only for the animals but also, and most of all for us, for human beings.... If animal testing is the only acknowledged form of testing for all kinds of chemicals, then it follows that we do not have enough money for other means of research, and I regard this as a violation of human rights, because I think that people have the right to expect a better standard of research.... We have a method (now in place) which continues to lead to terrible mistakes, which kills thousands of people and contributes to our environmental problems - none of which can be predicted under laboratory conditions.
"I think that what we need fundamentally is to formulate new human rights, new basic freedoms. What we have suggested in the Austrian Parliament is a basic right to health, so that there is a legal right to go to court if a new procedure or substance is introduced which might endanger health. The mere potential danger should enable one to do this, without having to take into account any actual damage incurred.... I am absolutely sure that what Dr. Mansfield has pointed out today will turn out to be true, that the new methods are proved better, that they save costs and that they will be in favour of better rights for patients and a better state of health for all....
"It is only, I believe, by consolidating the link-up of doctors against animal experiments with lawyers and politicians that we have a fair chance of achieving real progress."

Mr. Michael Mansfield, QC, Britain
Making the Connections

"...There is an area which I know Dr. Mansfield is particularly interested in - but in a sense it is the corollary of the rest of it: on the question of patents which relate to the drug companies - they plainly should not be issued with patents to develop products which are based on animal experimentation.... As Dr. Mansfield has said many times (and I have read a lot of what he has said over the last two or three years) there is one key, central point: what is it all about? It is about a pharmaceutical industry, it is about drugs, it is about profits.... There has to be a simple statement about the position. It may be very difficult to achieve political agreement with the politicians, it may not be difficult to explain to other members of the public, who are much more ready to understand than the politicians are, because of the vested interests of the latter. But again, patents and patent law are all to do with the drug industry wanting to be able to use animals because it is a cheap short-circuit for them. They have to be shamed by public debate, they have to be shamed by the reasonableness of the argument and by the information and evidence that you have accumulated and are presenting....
"If there is one single thing I wanted to say today - and the reason I am here - is that it is not just about animals: it is about the whole of our condition now, and until groups around the world make the connections - as I believe is already occurring - about what is happening to the environment (and there is a global movement), only then will the control of the world by the multi-nationals come to an end."

Prof. Pietro Croce, M.D., Pathologist, Member of the American College of Pathologists, Honorary President of DBAE, Italy
We Warned Them Once, Twice, Many Times - But All In Vain

"In today's conference, I shall focus on a single subject - one, however of very topical interest, of very topical importance: that is - a new methodology used by researchers, who, most probably unintentionally, are strengthening our movement, which maintains that no animal can be an experimental model for any other species, humans included....
"As might have been expected, the same concept has now apparently not only been adopted by them, but it is even boasted of with pride: 'By genetic engineering we have conferred on mice and rats some of the most important human characteristics (I stress human characteristics).' The significance of this from our standpoint is that researchers have finally recognized that that we were right when we tried, in vain, to warn them that all research performed on species other than man and yet extrapolated to man is doomed to inevitable failure, since a biological quality - any biological quality - concerning humans cannot be dealt with unless that same quality be present in the humans themselves....
"Some forty years ago a new (at that time) approach to vivisection was devised - then, just as today, with the purpose of making vivisection scientifically more credible (as evidently it was not!). It consisted of the 'creation', or rather, the production of the so-called 'axenic', or 'germ-free', animals - 'animals without guests' - guests being bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other parasites, mostly microscopic. This hare-brained idea was announced, supported and rapidly spread, with that same triumphalism and enthusiasm, but also with the same thoughtlessness, which now a days endorses the 'creation' of 'transgenic' mice and rats.... Anti-vivisectionists foretold its complete and ignominious failure. Then, as now, we had to put up with charges of being 'enemies of Science', 'prophets of misfortune', and the like - the same charges used by today's inventors of transgenic animals."

Dr. André Menache, B.Sc., B.Vet.Sc., Vet. Surgeon, Israel
Between Animal Experimentation and Informed Consent

"A strong link exists between the issue of patient rights and the issue of animal experimentation.... In fig. 1 [not shown] entitled: 'Metabolism, in hours, of various drugs', I illustrate the amount of time taken by man and by different animal species to break down various medical drugs. We see significant, and sometimes very significant, differences both between man and animal and between different animal species. As the liver is the organ chiefly responsible for breaking down drugs in the body, the differences we see are mainly due to differences in liver function. Thus there are certain functions that a cat's liver can perform that a dog's cannot, and vice versa. To further complicate matters, there are functions that the liver of a human adult can perform which that of a newborn baby cannot, just as there also exist differences between the liver of a young human adult and that of an elderly human.... There are significant differences even between man and his so-called 'closest relative', the monkey....
"It should obviously follow that people involved today in human clinical trials cannot give informed consent - even though an 'informed consent' document is indeed signed - since most of the pre-clinical data is based on animal trials. The problem is especially evident with the use of healthy human volunteers, who have nothing to gain and everything to lose if something go wrong.... Despite extensive animal testing designed to 'protect the consumer public', (medical) tragedies continue to multiply....
"Thus even when a new drug has been approved for marketing, there are still many questions left unanswered, some of them life-and-death questions: how do you know how a diabetic will react, or a pregnant woman or a person who drinks 10 cups of coffee a day? The answer is that most side-effects will only show in the human population after being used by thousands and thousands of people.... New Medical drugs continue to flood the market, but 'new' in the medical field also means new and unknown side-effects that are waiting to be discovered....
"In summary, it is the moral duty of an enlightened society to do everything in its power to protect its citizens from harm. In the case of medical research, there is an element of unavoidable risk. To minimise this risk, it is essential to put up as many protective shields as possible. One shield is a balanced ethical committee; another shield is a system of guaranteed financial compensation. Further protection still would be afforded by a determined move by government and industry away from the present reliance on animal tests."

Dr. Fabrizia Pratesi, Scientific Anti-Vivisection Committee
Progress of Anti-Vivisection in a Very Special Country

"It was only eight or ten years ago that the word 'vivisection' could not even be printed in Italian newspapers. But over these past years enormous changes have taken place in Italy, mainly in terms of public opinion. And we feel that, together with our allies, our own organization has achieved a great victory. For in September 1993 an Italian law was passed allowing conscientious objection to animal experimentation. So ours is the first country in the world to introduce such a reform - which is what prompts my description of Italy as a 'very special country'....
"After our first International Scientific Congress in 1989, which was a great success, we realized that it was extremely important to specialise in the scientific aspect of vivisection.... We also thought that it was important to have a special scientific committee. In 1992, in a venture with LAV, we formed the Comitato Scientifico Antivivisezionista (Scientific AntiVivisection Committee), with Prof. Pietro Croce as its President, and we have been co-operating very happily ever since....
"It is our advertising campaigns that are by far the most effective method of publicizing the committee and its work. Our first campaign, in September 1993, was entitled 'Let Us Vivisect the Italian Health System'. Judge Antonio de Pietro had just started his 'clean hands' operation, which revealed incredible corruption in political and other institutions country-wide.... Our intention was to highlight the deplorable state of the public health service and the iniquities of the pharmaceutical industry.... We always try to explain to the lay public that the pharmaceutical industry is motivated purely by profit, a fact amply demonstrated by these scandals...and by exposing what lay behind the medical scandals in Italy at that time, we turned our first campaign into a great success....
"We have just finished preparing campaign number four, which is against genetic engineering....
"It seems to me that fund-raising can provide a good opportunity for communicating our ideas to the public, and since the time needed to organise fundraising events (such as a ball or an art auction) is enormous, it should be used to fulfill both objectives at one and the same time....
"I remember how things were in Italy only eight or ten years ago, and how public opinion has been changing all the time since then. Anything can happen in Italy - it IS a very special country.... Our task is therefor all the more important, and we must not give up on doing our best to remove the evil of animal experimentation, for both man and animals, from this world."

Naomi Calligaro, Ireland/UK
What Happens When Patents Matter Less?; Current Developments in Russia to Devise a System of Health-Care that is Uplifting, Safe, Cost-Effective and Sustainable

"Whatever one's perspective on health-care it is difficult to avoid recognizing the fact that the existing system (in Britain as elsewhere) is considerably less than satisfactory for all concerned. To take a recent health-care scandal: three days ago (7 May, 1995) the front page headline of Britain's Sunday Times said - Teenage Deaths Linked to Popular Contraceptive Pill - It stated that doctors were demanding a government inquiry into one of Britain's most popular contraceptive pills, following a series of unexplained deaths and injuries of apparently fit young women taking the drug.
"According to endocrinologist Deepak Chopra, MD (India/USA), a leading international exponent of mind/body medicine, radioactive isotope studies show that the body replaces 98% of its atoms in less than one year. A liver, for example, is replaced every six weeks. With the body obviously recreating diseased cells at regular intervals (e.g. in the case of cancer of the liver, the cancerous liver cells are being recreated every six weeks), clearly there is something going on within the consciousness of the individual that is causing the individual to recreate the diseased cells. This being the case, one must seriously question how appropriate it is to cut the body (surgery), burn the body (irradiation), or poison it (chemotherapy or toxic drugs - all medical drugs being toxic to varying degrees).
"In the former Soviet Union, patents on medicines were less important than in Western countries. With patents owned by the state, I am advised that the commercial incentive to maximise the use of a particular drug before the expiry date of a patent was absent....
"Despite the health crisis in Russia - which indeed presents an enormous challenge - there are very hopeful signs that senior Russian politicians, Russia's highly-qualified conventional medical doctors, and Russia's exceptionally-talented 'folk-healers' are currently coming together in a unique way that could potentially accelerate the ushering in of the emerging healing paradigms, and develop a blueprint for an uplifting, safe, cost-effective and sustainable system of health-care.... With the emerging paradigms I see no need for, nor place for, animal experimentation. I believe that future generations will view the current approach to health-care as barbaric, both for what is being done to humans and for what is being done to animals. We must learn to live in accordance with Natural Law."

The above extracts are by no means the complete texts of the speeches presented, which will be published in full in the Proceedings of the Congress obtainable from DBAE.

Dr. Moneim Fadali, distinguished heart surgeon, USA, anti-vivisectionist and DBAE patron, in reply to a question of how to go about stopping animal experiments, said: "Educate ourselves, our own families, our friends, our work colleagues, our community, the world at large. They should know the facts as they are."

Reprinted from the DBAE newsletter, June/September 1995.


Doctors in Britain Against Animal Experiments (DBAE)
now called Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine (DLRM)
104b Weston Park
London N8 9PP
England
Phone 44 (0)181-340-9813
Fax 44 (0)181-342-9878
dlrm@gn.apc.org
www.dlrm.org