A PROPERLY MODERATED, PUBLIC SCIENTIFIC DEBATE
Current science has evidence proving exactly how and why experimenting on animals is harming the progress of human medicine. Yet there has never been a properly moderated public science debate about this, in which animal research scientists are challenged by scientists who oppose experiments on animals on human medical and scientific grounds.
130 MPs have, to date, signed four Parliamentary Early Day Motions is calling for this medical hearing and the debate conditions have been endorsed by Britain's foremost human rights defence barrister Michael Mansfield QC.
Media channels such as BBC's Newsnight have broadcast programmes where animal research scientists have been challenged by animal rights activists, but science itself is not animal cruelty! Science is science, and as such, scientists - as well as the public audience - deserve a level playing field: scientist versus scientist.
In addition, experiments on animals are sanctioned by law as a scientific practice, in contrast with one that would otherwise be prosecuted as cruelty to animals if it occurred outside the environment of an animal laboratory.
Furthermore, even Professor Colin Blakemore, one of the UK 's leading proponents of animal experiments, describes his activity as "evil". In Professor Blakemore's own words: "I hate working with animals, I think it's wrong, and I think it's evil but for now I think it's necessary, and a scientist must have honesty and integrity and be accountable".
Although Professor Blakemore insists that a scientist must "be accountable", he has never agreed to take part in the properly moderated, public scientific debate, called for by MPs.
This lack of open dialogue came to a head in September 2000 during a live interview introduced by acclaimed broadcaster Sue MacGregor, on BBC's Radio 4's The Today Programme. For this item, Professor Blakemore was interviewed together with co-author of Animal Models in Light of Evolution, Dr Ray Greek MD. During the interview, Dr Greek invited Professor Blakemore to a series of 5 to 7 live medical debates to cover all areas of human illness. Without hesitation Professor Blakemore refused to take part, instead suggesting that Dr Greek attend the Boyd Group, a closed-door discussion group (which no longer exists), and one that would not have enabled the British public to hear, or participate in the event.
If a scientist supports a practice that can only be viewed via harrowing undercover investigations - such as the one narrated by Dr Jane Goodall DBE, below - then he or she must indeed, in Professor Blakemore's own words, "be accountable" to prove that the chosen scientific method is helping the progress of human medicine.
FOR LIFE ON EARTH is committed to making this level of science debate happen. Our objective is to ensure that such debates are broadcast live on television, via a platform such as BBC's Newsnight or Question Time, both being suitable for the seriousness of such an important topic, and able to incorporate audience participation.
INCREASED PUBLIC AWARENESS
FOR LIFE ON EARTH will focus on the most efficient routes by which to advertise the fact that veterinary principles must not be applied to ill, or critically ill humans. An effective pressure campaign, coordinated with the help of the international community, can then help to ensure that legislative decisions made by governments implement current scientific knowledge. This will, in turn, help to release funds available for medical research and re-direct these precious, finite resources towards Personalised Medicine - the front runner of cures for human disease where treatments are tailor-made for you and you alone - for your unique genetic makeup.
ACTION IN PARLIAMENTS and a LEGAL CHALLENGE
We are delighted that Dr Ray Greek was invited by the EU Commission to testify at the EU Parliament on behalf of an historic Citizens Initiative (CI) on May 11th 2015, the CI is titled 'Stop Vivisection to Save Human Lives'. This was created by 1.273 million EU citizens who submitted their private passport details, ID numbers, birth dates and postal addresses to sign a formal petition to enable this medical hearing; you can listen to Drs Greek and Menache presenting their evidence against animal models for human patients below:
FOR LIFE ON EARTH will continue work to free governments from the grip of lobbying groups that represent the laboratory animal model community. Not only will these individuals be asked to debate publicly with scientists - as opposed to animal rights activists - but we will also continue to utilise the best routes to submit up-to-date scientific evidence to Parliaments, internationally.
TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESS!
A precedent scientific ruling was set in 2003 at the historic Cambridge Inquiry, when permission for Cambridge University to build a new non-human primate laboratory was refused. Dr Ray Greek was appointed chief scientific witness against the use of animal models, because Cambridge University wanted to build their new lab on Green Belt land and therefore had to prove that experimenting on non-human primates was 'medically and scientifically in the national interest'. After a two week inquiry, including the submission of Dr Greek's referenced position paper in addition to his five hours of oral witness testimony, the Government Inspector ruled:
On the basis of the technical input, therefore, I could not conclude that need in the national interest is demonstrated insofar as this pertains to the scientific/medical research and procedures undertaken by the University.
The primate laboratory was not built.