USDA subverts Animal Welfare Act in whistleblower protection case

Ron Wood's crack-smoking experiments. A case study of waste, fraud and animal abuse

"Scientific Welfare" needs reform. Wasteful, irrelevant and cruel research underwritten by U.S. tax dollars

Retaliation Case of
Jan Moor-Jankowski, M.D.

Top Ten Lies of the Department of Agriculture
In the matter of animal welfare whistleblower - Jan Moor-Jankowski, M.D.

The History of Medical Progress written by Dr. Ray Greek, Director of the Medical Research Modernization Committee

"If I, an internationally recognized scientist and consultant to heads of state and national academies, couldnot secure protection under federal law, how can U.S. citizens believe thatanyone, let alone younger, lesser-known scientists, dare to oppose scientificmisconduct, animal abuse and the misdeeds of corrupt administrations?"- Jan Moor-Jankowski, M.D.

ACTION is part of Agency's long-standing pattern of failure to uphold the law.

The History of Medical Progress
written by Dr. Ray Greek, Director of the Medical Research Modernization Committee

Introduction | Surgical Advances | Medication Testing in Animals | Curing and Preventing Cancer |Do Animals Feel Pain? | AIDS Research with Animals
Heart Disease | Cardiovascular Disease | Childhood Diseases | Birth Defects

Heart Disease
The leading cause of death in the USA is heart disease. Roughly, one thirdof patients do not survive their first heart attack. We are all aware ofthe risk hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) has for coronary arterydisease (CAD). Other risk factors include hypertension, cigarette smoking,diabetes, a family history of the disease, lack of exercise, obesity andstress. The risk between CAD and cholesterol levels was determined by clinicalstudies, not animal research. In fact, coronary artery disease has beenquite difficult to induce in laboratory animals. All of the risk factorslisted were determined from human research not animal experiments.

Indeed, epidemiology and in vitro research have been the only way to studyheart disease since scientists have not been able to reproduce CAD in animals.Rabbits have been studied for CAD but there are major differences betweenthe way the humans and rabbits manifest the disease. First and most importantly,rabbits don't suffer from CAD naturally. In order to study CAD in rabbits,researchers must artificially induce the disease in the rabbit. They canmake the arteries to the heart clog, but again not like humans. The clogs,or plaques, in humans tend to break off. Hence heart attacks. Heart attackscan also be caused by frank obstruction of blood flow. The plaques thatresearchers induce in rabbits do not ulcerate and break off like they doin humans. Rabbits also differ in their response to diet. Rabbits with induceddiabetes that are fed a high cholesterol diet, develop less CAD. As everyoneknows, a human patient with diabetes who eats a high cholesterol diet isincreasing his risk of CAD.

No animal model reproduces the CAD in humans. Baboons, a favorite of researchers,have CAD induced over a course of hours, not years as in humans. The vesselswhich the researchers are trying to induce disease in, are normal. In humans,CAD is not just an isolated clog. The entire vessel is diseased. Some scientistsare now suggesting it is actually the vessel which causes CAD, in additionto the fat content of the blood. The human clog is composed of blood, fat,and other substances. The baboon clog is only blood. There are profounddifferences between what blood does to the artery and what an actual plaquedoes. Rats are not suitable models secondary to the fact that rats metabolizefats differently from humans. A high fat content in the diet leads to highercholesterol levels in humans and thus a higher risk of CAD. This differencehas led researchers to state, "the rat is not an appropriate humanmodel for studies involving lipids." (Nutrition and Cancer, 1983;4(4):285-291)
Other scientists have stated, "It is not possible to extrapolate directlyfrom rat to human studies because of differences in plasma lipoprotein [cholesteroland triglycerides] metabolism between the species."

The great apes have also been unsuccessfully used to study CAD. In 1963,scientists stated, "The indications of current research findings thatthis [atherosclerosis] may be essentially a nutritional disease raise questionsthat cannot be satisfactorily answered in the laboratory. In fact, atherosclerosisis one of several areas in which research has reached the practical limitsof laboratory investigation with the present state of our knowledge andtechniques. The road to further progress now seems to lie in large-scaleand long-range epidemiological studies utilizing large population groupsas the basic unit of study." (Shannon JA. Testimony before the Departmentof Labor and Health, Education , and Welfare Appropriations, Subcommitteeof the Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, Eighty-sixth Congress,First Session. Washington. United States Government Printing Office, 1959,p609)

And indeed that is what happened. The Framingham and other epidemiologicalstudies have provided us with more information about CAD than any othermodality. The ability to diagnose heart disease has been improved by theuse of radionulide imaging of the heart and stress testing of the heart.Patients frequently undergo a "stress test" in order to evaluatehow the blood flow to heart is compromised in the face of CAD. By exercisingand demanding that more blood go to the heart, the lesions can be bettervisualized and more information can be gained regarding prognosis. Varioustechniques have been developed in order to look into the arteries of theheart. These tests can be used prior to sending a patient to surgery inorder to ascertain if the patient is at high risk for a heart attack duringsurgery. They are frequently used in order to diagnose heart disease orquantify how bad the disease is, in order to properly medicate the patient.Other uses include measuring the degree of damage after a heart attack,assessing the quality of the left ventricle, or monitoring for damage thatcertain chemotherapeutic medications may cause to the heart. If a patientis unable to walk on the treadmill, other options are available. He or shemay ride a stationary bicycle, or utilize a hand squeezing devise. If unableto do this, certain medications may be given which will cause the heartto beat faster and need more oxygen thus increasing blood flow. Adenosine,dipyridamole, and other medications are often used for this purpose. Theuse of radionuclides, such as thallium can be used with or without the stressportion of the test. The radionuclides provide the "film" fortaking a picture of the process. The thallium will look different dependingon the disease state. Certain "high tech" machines are used to"photograph" the thallium and hence interpret the "picture".PET scans, CAT scans and other devices are also used to evaluate the heartin a similar fashion. A common method of evaluating ventricular functionis with a multiple gated acquisition analysis (MUGA). This technique allowsexcellent evaluation of how well the heart is pumping blood, and does notinvolve catheterizatio or other invasive procedures. These techniques relyon technology, not animal research.

Another great step in the diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions isTransesophageal Echocardiography (TEE). Echocardiography has been used foryears and again was a discovery based on other than animal research. Butthe technique was marred by the fact that the cardiologist could not visualizethe certain pats of the heart well. Also the entire image was sub-optimalsecondary to the transducer being separated from the heart by skin, tissueand bone. With the advent of catheters used for colonoscopy and esophagealgastroduodenoscopies(EGD) and the advent of computer chip technology, cardiologists are nowable to place the TEE into a patients esophagus and visualize the heartbetter than ever before. There is less distance for the sound wave to traveland therefore much less interference. TEE is used for many patients bothin and out of the operating room.

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