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Animal Testing

Traditionally, animals have been used to ensure the safety of our consumer products and drugs. Yet around the world, scientists, regulators and animal protectionists work together to develop alternatives to their use. The use of animals in the life sciences dates back to ancient Greece and the earliest medical experiments. To learn about swallowing, physicians cut open into the throat of a living pig. To study the beating heart, they cut open into its chest. For centuries physicians and researchers used animals to enhance their knowledge about how the various organs and systems of the body functioned, as well as to hone their surgical skills. As long as animals have been used in experiments, people have expressed concerns about such research. Questions about the morality, necessity, and scientific validity of animal experiments have arisen since those ancient physiciansfirst began to study bodily functions. Alternatives are methods, which refine existing tests by minimizing a!
nimal distress, reduce the number of animals necessary for an experiment or replace whole animal use with vitro or other tests. While vivisection has received more attention and funding, clinical and epidemiological (studying the natural course of disease within human population) studies have had a much more profound impact on human health. In fact, clinical and epidemiological evidence linking smoking to lung cancer was established long before warnings of the dangers of smoking were released to the general public. Because animal experimentation failed to each the same conclusion, warning labels on cigarettes were delayed for years! During this time hundreds of people died from lung cancer because the results of animal experimentation were considered more valid than studies of human patients. Animal based research is the science of the past. There are a number of alternatives available to modern researchers, which are less expensive, more reliable, and ethica…

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