We are proud and delighted that the acclaimed actor Peter Egan is FLOE’s Patron. Mr Egan, pictured here, says “I am delighted to become Patron of the science-based campaign For Life On Earth (FLOE), whose medical evidence is illustrated by the leading scientific Board in its field: Americans and Europeans for Medical Advancement (AFMA/EFMA). If, like me, you are shocked by the appalling cruelty animals are forced to endure in laboratory experiments – and you want to end all animal experiments – you will agree that understanding the fact that these atrocities are now proven, by current science, to also harm human patients is vital in the campaign to counter false PR. Please join me in helping to support FLOE’s call for thorough scientific debate hearings, so that decision-makers can act on this crucial medical evidence, end intolerable cruelty towards animals and save lives!”
150 cross-party members of the UK Parliament have, to date, signed four Early Day Motions calling for a rigorous public scientific debate – about claims that animal experiments can predict the responses of human patients. Too numerous to name all here, these Parliamentarians include: the Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn MP; the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson MP; Sir Alan Meale MP; Caroline Lucas MP; Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz MP; Paul Flynn MP; Alistair Carmichael MP; Margaret Ferrier MP; Natalie McGarry MP; Gordon Henderson MP; Sir Edward Leigh MP; Liz Saville Roberts MP; Stuart Donaldson MP; Diedre Brock MP; Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP and Margaret Ritchie MP.
Please note: MPs who sit on the front bench cabinets are no longer eligible to sign current EDMs, to read the latest EDM 66 please visit this link
Preeminent primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall is calling for primate experimenter Prof. Roger Lemon to agree to debate his position in the MPs’ called for scientific debate:
— JaneGoodallInstitute (@JaneGoodallInst) February 3, 2017
The evidence which illustrates our scientific position is provided by the leading experts in this field, including the late Dr. Niall Shanks who wrote the first definitive book against creationism, otherwise known as intelligent design theory, titled God, the Devil and Darwin, forward by Prof. Richard Dawkins. Dr. Shanks went on to co-author with leading expert Dr. Ray Greek, their seminal work titled Animal Models in Light of Evolution, 2009, which disproves claims that laboratory animal models have predictive value for human patients, in disease and medicine research. This book places decades of empirical evidence within the context of current understanding of evolutionary biology and complex systems to deliver Trans-Species Modeling Theory. There is a layperson’s version of this book, specially written for the non-scientist, titled FAQS About the Use of Animals in Science; a handbook for the scientifically perplexed (2009) available here.
FOR LIFE ON EARTH (FLOE) is a campaign initiative presented by a wide range of advocates for human health, including patients and their families together with 136 MPs who have, to date, signed four Early Day Motions calling for properly moderated, public scientific debate about the question of the ‘predictive’ value of animal experiments for human patients. The debate conditions for these medical hearings have been endorsed by Britain’s foremost human rights defence barrister, Michael Mansfield QC.
We support the new initiative Patients Campaigning For Cures, founded in 2014 by an inspirational twenty-eight year old year old multiple sclerosis patient Rebecca Groves. Rebecca highlights the human cost of experiments on animals in a video slide show which she narrated in 2013, on behalf of the families and friends group here at FLOE.
Our position acknowledges the tradition of dedicated individuals who have achieved breakthroughs for science, including Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Jenner’s Germ Theory of Disease. Our illustration of science highlights the importance of such work, demonstrating that science now has the Trans-Species Modeling Theory  – derived from complexity science and evolutionary biology – which explains immense empirical evidence (spanning decades) against the assumption that animals are able to predict responses in humans.
Up-to-date science has now reached a milestone that enriches our understanding of public health and safety, and provides a framework which supports common sense decisions not to take our children, and other relatives, to the veterinary clinic when they fall ill. This breakthrough for health reinforces standards already required by medical practice: most importantly that laboratory tests are accepted as predictive – and protective of the safety of humans – only if they are reliable in the region of at least 95%. These necessarily high standards are well illustrated when medicines have been withdrawn after side effects in even only 1% of a million patients, (2) and further illustrated when we reasonably expect the results from our blood test, x-ray or urine analysis to be in the range of at least 90% accurate, in order to diagnose and treat any illness we may have.
The criteria required for prediction in medical research and safety should match these appropriately high requirements. However, statistical analysis which determines effectiveness – from drug sniffing dogs to blood tests that diagnose cancer – has measured the claimed ability of animal models to predict responses in humans and exposes a 69% failure rate. (3) This is not an isolated study but one of many in the scientific literature and all conclude that animals have a predictive value for humans in the range of 31%. Again, it is important to realise that this statistical analysis is not anecdotal: there are no studies in the scientific literature that show evidence to the contrary, that animals have a predictive value beyond guesswork – either in medicine testing or disease research. It will be no surprise, therefore, to learn that the National Institute of Cancer has gone on record saying we have lost cures for cancer because of studies in rodents.
Science as such is never about any moral issue, including animal welfare. Science addresses cold, objective factual evidence solely. So leaving aside the morality of ethics for a moment, FLOE’s illustration of science acknowledges that seven of the nine main ways animals are used in science – categories 3-9 on the following list – are scientifically viable uses of animals, for which – thankfully today – there exist many more efficient less expensive, modern synthetic or human biology-based alternatives, producing more accurate and safer scientific results. It is only the first two categories in the following list which are scientifically held as demonstrably invalid: specifically meaning the claimed use of animals to predict responses in humans which is now proven to have never worked in the first place. It’s worth taking a moment to pause here, and underline the fact that it does not make sense to call for ‘alternatives’ for a method that has never worked in the first place! Human-based research is not an ‘alternative replacement’ for animal testing – please beware the misleading 3Rs! Human-based research is valid and viable because it has a track record of success. And we should also add that by definition, the scientific position expressed in this list does not enter into a moral dialogue, that is to say, about the entirely separate, vital and equally valid issue concerning the terrible suffering of laboratory animals. Please visit our ‘Laboratory Animals’ tab for our supportive advocates for animals and FLOE’s moral position, thank you.
1. Animals are used as predictive models of humans for research into diseases such as cancer and AIDS.
2. Animals are used as predictive models of humans for testing drugs or other chemicals.
3. Animals are used as “spare parts”, such as when a person receives an aortic valve from a pig.
4. Animals are used as bioreactors or factories, such as for the production of insulin or monoclonal antibodies, or to maintain the supply of a virus.
5. Animals and animal tissues are used to study basic physiological principles.
6. Animals are used in education to educate and train medical students and to teach basic principles of anatomy in high school biology classes.
7. Animals are used as a modality for ideas or as a heuristic device, which is a component of basic science research.
8. Animals are used in research designed to benefit other animals of the same species or breed.
9. Animals are used in research in order to gain knowledge for knowledge sake.
For a great summary blog about the nine main ways animals are used in science please visit this link.
For more details please visit FAQS about the Use of Animals in Science (2009) Drs Greek MD and Shanks PhD, to buy that book.
1 Greek, R and L.A. Hansen, Questions regarding the predictive value of one evolved complex system for a second: exemplified by the SOD1 mouse Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 2013.
2 http://www.pulitzer.org/archives/6485 Masubuchi Y: Metabolic and non-metabolic factors determining troglitazone hepatotoxicity: a review. Drug Metab Pharmacokinet 2006, 21:347-356
3 Lumley and Walker: Animal Toxicity Studies: Their relevance for Man: Quay 1990 p73.
~ The latest Home Office statistics show that total number of procedures performed went down from 2016 by 3.74% to 3.79 million procedures (3.94 million, 2016). However this is still a very high number, including 3,847 procedures on 2496 dogs; 2960 procedures on 2215 primates; 198 procedures on 71 cats and 10,600 procedures on 288 horses. 3.72 million animals were used overall.
The number of animals bred with genetic modifications, but not further used in experiments has continued to rise over the past 10 years, from 1.39 million in 2008 to 1.90 million in 2017. There was a slight 0.55% decrease in the number of genetically modified animals in 2017 compared to 2016 (1.91 million). 719,326 genetically modified animals were additionally used in experiments.
~ This high number of laboratory animals is not justified by up-to-date understanding of the crucial significance evolutionary biology has for medical research, contrasted with the antiquated origin of claims that animals are able to predict responses for humans. Please visit 1847 – 1878 Medical Ethics for more on this historical perspective.
Looking at the above within an historical, scientific and moral perspective, the following needs to be acknowledged:
Misleading yet popular campaigns which promote the “3Rs” (Reduction of animal numbers, Refinement of harmful procedures and Replacement of animals with ‘alternatives’) actually ignore the fact that experiments on animals are sanctioned – by law – under the category of science not ethics. The 3Rs is an alleged ‘ethical policy’ established in 1959 to achieve ‘human experimental technique’ on animals.
Experiments on animals continue to be licensed under the now disproven assumption that they can predict for humans. Reducing animal numbers and Refining harmful procedures does not address this present day scientific position. Moreover, the concept of Replacing animals with “alternatives” is highly misleading. Common sense dictates that there can be no “alternative” to a method that has been shown to fail: we do not need an “alternative” route that still arrives at animal model land. Common sense also dictates that any available “alternative” method is irrelevant if a method has been shown to have failed to the extent that experiments on animals have: failure should be dropped on its own grounds; this is not dependent on what else is available.
Please click here for the key financial aspect. For scientifically viable research methods please visit What Will We Do If We Don’t Experiment on Animals? Medical Research for the Twenty-First Century (2006) Jean Swingle Greek DVM C. Ray Greek MD.
Please also visit the excellent new PR organisation Speaking of Human-Based Research.
Watch this space for a new Parliamentary Early Day Motion!
If you live in the UK, you can ask your MP to sign an EDM calling for a top science hearing to demonstrate to decision makers what is already widely reported in the peer reviewed scientific literature: animal experiments are now proven to also cause harm and fatalities to human patients. As a reference point, please refer to our previous EDM at this link .
HELP DISTRIBUTE OUR LEAFLETS: tailor made as an introduction for colleagues, friends and family, our leaflet explains why animal experiments must stop – and how scientists outside the vested interests recognise the failure of animal models, writing about this often and openly in the scientific literature. Please help distribute our leaflets by ordering a free pack at our contact page. To see a PDF of the leaflet please visit this link.
Please contact FLOE if you are able to help finance a public awareness campaign that can build the kind of pressure necessary to change scientifically outdated laws which still require experiments on animals, under the false claim that they are able to predict the responses of human patients.
FLOE’s illustration of up-to-date science holds truly historic potential, and we look forward to hearing from you. Please visit WHAT WE ARE CALLING FOR to read about our campaign strategies, and our RESOURCES for more details.
FLOE is supported by preeminent primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, acclaimed primatologist and television wildlife presenter Dr Charlotte Uhlenbroek PhD and the much respected, long established Beagle Association – Beagles being the chosen breed of dog for laboratory experiments, internationally. The Beagle Association states: ‘The Beagle Association supports FLOE in it’s campaign against testing on animals, as science now has the means to explain exactly how and why laboratory animals are not capable of predicting human response and so, therefore, testing on animals is not an appropriate way of predicting the human response to drugs.’
In clear distinction from FLOE’s illustration of science – which, as science, does not hold an ethical position about the suffering of laboratory animals – FLOE’s supportive advocates for animals do hold an ethical position about the acute suffering experienced by sentient animals, who are the subjects of these laboratory experiments. FLOE also provide the scientific evidence for the UK’s high profile peaceful Beagle Campaigns: Oppose B and K Universal which is the original local resident (turned national) campaign against Beagle breeders B&K Universal, in Grimston Hull, and Save the Harlan Beagles.
The latest Home Office figures show that 95% of lab Beagles – that’s 3,241 individual dogs – were experimented on under the assumption that animals are able to predict toxicity in new medicines for humans: namely as claimed ‘predictive’ models in human ‘applied’ studies (essentially for the toxicity testing of new human medicines and ADME studies). Indeed eighty-eight percent of non-human primates were experimented on for such ‘applied’ studies as were seventy-three percent of all rats.
Please visit our Key Points side panel – to the right – for the scientific definition of prediction and what this actually means for human health. Dr Charlotte Uhlenbroek, the Beagle Association and our additional Beagle supporters are able to appreciate what this means for non-human primates and Beagles with the vital help of investigations that have to be filmed undercover:
WARNING: Click here for stills from the above undercover investigations.
The law that still requires these experiments opposes current understanding of complexity science and evolutionary biology, which explains exactly how and why predicting safety for humans is an impossible task for laboratory animals. Read more about this at the science blog here, where you can click on the many topics and headings, or follow this science blog in our News Feed.
A fundamental reason why FLOE matters to its supportive advocates for animals is because the above behaviour would be prosecuted if it were taking place outside the environment of an animal laboratory. It is crucial to them, therefore, for the just and fair rule of law to recognise that such experiments not only fail the scientific criteria of prediction, but also fail to practise morally acceptable science. Please visit FLOE’s RESOURCES and watch the science lecture to appreciate how current science judges up-to-date evidence; for KEY POINTS at a glance, check out our side panel, to the right of this page.