Preeminent primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall has released a filmed statement of herself calling for a rigorous public scientific debate hearing about claims that experiments on non-human primates – and other animals – can predict the responses of human patients. Dr. Goodall is responding to criticism by primate experimenter Prof. Roger Lemon, who has denounced an Open Letter she signed with Sir David Attenborough, calling for an end to invasive experiments on primates.
In her filmed statement, below, Dr. Goodall challenges Prof. Lemon to justify his claims that primate experiments benefit humans by presenting his evidence at the public scientific hearing. To date, over a 130 cross-party MPs are calling for this debate, the conditions of which are endorsed as “well set out and fair” by human rights defence barrister Michael Mansfield QC.
Says Dr. Goodall:
“Following Professor Roger Lemon’s recent criticism of myself, Sir David Attenborough and leading medical expert Dr Ray Greek, I call upon Professor Lemon to agree to participate in the properly moderated public scientific debate hearing with Dr Greek, as called for by the current UK Parliamentary EDM 400, and by 133 MPs to date, who have signed four Early Day Motions to this effect.
It is time for a rigorous and thorough public scientific evaluation of animal experiments, using the established peer reviewed process of independent experts from the relevant fields of scientific expertise. These experts will be present to judge the validity of the opposing scientific positions, and thereby advise decision makers as to the best path ahead, for all life on earth”.
Dr. Goodall, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace.
Prof Lemon’s opponent in the debate, Dr Ray Greek, is President of the leading medical Board which opposes animal experiments on human medical and scientific grounds – Americans and Europeans For Medical Advancement.
In 2003, Dr Greek defeated plans by Cambridge University to build a new primate laboratory, with a precedent ruling on ‘national interest, medical and scientific grounds’. Cambridge wanted to build their new lab on Green Belt land, and failed to prove the required criteria, namely that their primate experiments were going to be ‘in the national interest’. For more on this landmark medical ruling please visit this link.
Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal, joins an increasing number of scientific journals and pharmaceutical companies in reporting the failure of animals as predictive models of humans. Dr Godlee published her Editors Choice in 2104, titled ‘How Predictive and productive is Animal Research?’ which concluded by quoting from the paper it cited:
“If research conducted on animals continues to be unable to reasonably predict what can be expected in humans, the public’s continuing endorsement and funding of preclinical animal research seems misplaced.” 
Evidence-based medical opposition to animal models reflects up-to-date knowledge based on current understanding of evolutionary biology and complex systems, recently elucidated by Trans-Species Modelling Theory (TSMT), which joins its predecessors including The Theory of Evolution and the Germ Theory of Disease [2-6].
Dr Ray Greek adds:
“The wider scientific community – outside the vested interests – now agree that trying to model human disease using animals is a disastrous failure for human patients. In the debate hearing called for by Dr Goodall and MPs, I will explain how current science understands exactly why this is the case. I welcome Dr. Goodall’s support, especially her recognition of the need for independent scientific experts to be present, to judge which of the opposing positions is correct”.
Laboratory technician Cris Iles filmed undercover in Prof. Lemon’s primate lab for an animal cruelty investigation, which revealed shocking violations of Home Office regulations, denied by Prof. Lemon.
Cris Iles says:
“The only reason for animal experimentation to exist in its current regulatory vacuum is to enable it to continue as a haphazard and indefensible industry, offering nothing to human medical advancement whilst also avoiding commonly held standards of decency in respect of the care of animals. I applaud and support Dr Goodall’s vital call for Prof. Lemon to agree to take part in a thorough public scientific and medical evaluation that all of us can witness, overseen by independent experts. This is a debate hearing long overdue”.
For the radio interview with Prof. Lemon in which he criticised Dr. Jane Goodall, Sir David Attenborough and Dr Ray Greek please visit this link
For Dr. Ray Greek’s radio interview responding to Prof. Lemon’s criticisms please visit this link
For Dr. Greek’s defeat of the primate laboratory at Cambridge University in 2002, please visit this link.
For undercover lab technician Cris Iles’ summary report in support of Dr. Goodall, please visit this link.
Extensive and referenced quotes from pharmaceutical companies, available here.
There have been four Parliamentary Early Day Motions calling for the science debate hearing, signed by 133 MPs to date; the current is EDM 400.
1. BMJ 2014; 348: g 3719 available here.
2. Shanks N, Greek R, Greek J. Are animal models predictive for humans? Philos Ethics Humanit Med. 2009 Jan 15;4(1):2.
3. Greek, R. Pippus, A. Hansen, L. The Nuremberg Code subverts human health and safety by requiring animal modeling. BMC Medical Ethics 2012 Jul 8;13(1):16. doi:10.1186/1472-6939-13-16
4. Ray Greek and Lawrence A Hansen; The Development of Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders J Clinic Res Bioeth 2012, 3:137. doi: 10.4172/2155-9627.1000137