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

Surgical Advances
Would you want a surgeon to operate on you if he or she had never performedthe procedure on humans? How about if the operation had only been done ondogs? Do you think surgery residents should watch their teachers performoperations and then very gradually be allowed to help with the operationuntil finally they are able to do the entire procedure under supervisionor should they practice on animals and then on you? How were all the surgicaladvances discovered and how do physicians learn to be surgeons? Is modernsurgery the result of animal experimentation or human clinical observation?Have technological discoveries or animal experiments led to the great advancesin surgery? What have animal experiments done for the field of surgery?
Surgery would not be possible without anesthesia. Indeed, anesthesia isone of the contributions to the history of medicine from the United States.Physicians discovered the properties of anesthetics while having so-calledether parties in the 1800's. Participants noticed that while inhaling thesubstances, they became insensitive to pain. Thus, the field of anesthesiologywas born. Anesthesiology and infectious control allowed surgery to advanceout of the dark ages.
Many famous surgeons of the 19th and 20th centuries opposed animal experimentationfor surgery. Lawson Tait stated that animal experimentation should be stopped"so the energy and skill of scientific investigators could be directedinto better and safer channels." Tait stated that he had been led astraytime and time again by animal experiments. He believed vivisection wrongbecause of misleading results and because focus was diverted from more reliabledata. Dr. Charles Mayo, of the famous Mayo Clinic, stated:

"I abhor vivisection. It should at least be curbed. Better, it shouldbe abolished...I know of no discovery that could not have been obtainedwithout it...."

Sir Frederick Treves stated about performing surgery on dogs,
"my experiments had done little but unfit me to operate with the humanintestine."

The differences between human anatomy and physiology were again cited bypresident of the Royal College of Surgeons, Dr. Moynihan who stated,
"Has not the contribution of the laboratory to surgery of the stomach,for example, been almost negligible when it has not been potentially dangerousbecause divergent from human experience and therefore inapplicable."
Perhaps the most important surgical advances have resulted from new technology.CT scans, MRI's, ultrasound and other technologies allow quicker and moreaccurate diagnosis of disease. Technological contribution does not stopwith the diagnosis however. New sutures have been developed which allowvery small incisions in the eye, heart and other tissue. Microscopes whichallow surgeons to reattach severed fingers, hands and arms, have revolutionizedsurgery and saved many people from devastating injuries. The microscopeis also used for the common procedure of placing tubes in a child's earsin order to decrease ear infections and hearing loss. Microscopic discectomy,the removal of a herniated disc in the back is accomplished with the microscope.The microscope is also used in neurosurgery to allow very small precisecuts of tumors off nerves. The development of the stapler has done awaywith sutures in some operations. Making for a better closure and quickeroperating time. Lasers now allow ophthalmologists to correct potentiallyblinding conditions without anesthesia and as on an outpatient basis. Lasersare also used in removing birth marks from the face and aid in stanchingblood flow during liver transplant surgery.
One advance in technology which has saved many patients from surgery andfrom death is the endoscope. These instruments are commonly used in orderto visualize the inner colon, looking for early cancers. They are also usedin the upper GI tract to look for cancer and ulcers. Prior to this patientswere forced to swallow or have placed via an enema, a chalk like substancewhich did not always provide adequate visualization. Many procedures whichwould have required a major surgery can now be performed non-surgicallyvia endoscope. Along the same lines of viewing without cutting, many operationsare now performed as laparoscopic procedures. Appendectomy, cholecystectomy,hysterectomy, hernia repair and others were once only possible with a largeincision and a prolonged recovery. Laparoscopes allow surgeons to make severalvery small incisions thus decreasing the likelihood of infection and othercomplications and decreasing recovery time.

As more and more technology became available, more specialized trainingwas needed in order to use it. General surgery divided in to neurosurgery,urological surgery, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, plastics, orthopedics,vascular, thoracic, cardiac, transplant surgery and other sub specialties.This led to even more knowledge and further technological refinements. Theinvention of the ophthalmoscope in 1851 allowed physicians to see insidethe eye for the first time. The otoscope, in 1860, allowed visualizationinside the ear and the laryngoscope in 1874, allowed better visualizationof the larynx. The ability to look at tissue under a microscope utilizingcertain stains and dyes allowed surgeons to decide whether or not to removetissue or treat more conservatively. Tissue implants including artificialeyes, heart valves, penile prosthesis, skin expanders used in order to harvestmore skin for skin grafts, artificial blood vessels, pacemakers and otheradvances came to us via technology not animal research.

The field of neurosurgery owes much to advances in radiology. The abilityto actually see inside the nervous system and thus find exactly where theproblem lay was the sticking point in neurosurgery for decades. Better diagnostictechniques such as myelography, angiography and MRI scanners, has revolutionizedthe field. One of the first neurosurgeons was Harvey Cushing of Boston,who developed many techniques and instruments. The concept of using electricityto coagulate bleeding vessels was Cushing's idea. The old method of sewingeach individual vessel when it was bleeding was time consuming and imprecise.Today virtually no operation is performed without electrocautery. Othertechnical advances involving the microscope has allowed much more pin pointresection of tumors and lesions. This quote from Paul Carrao, MD a formeranimal experimenter in head trauma exemplifies the animal model dilemma:

"I just know what the literature shows, and I know what our resultswere, and I challenge anybody to show that any of that[animal research]has advanced the cause of the treatment of human head injury one iota. Thebulk of the knowledge that now exists and upon which the treatment of headinjuries is predicated is that which has been derived from head injuriesin the past, whether in the civilian sector or in the military. In manyways the results which were obtained with animals have been misleading,because in the case of quadrupeds, the physiological mechanisms are different,so that the kinds of data obtained from different systems - circulatory,the blood pressure and so forth, respiratory, the cardiac - are differentfrom those obtained from human head injuries."

One example of animal experimentation misleading surgeons is the operationcalled Radial Keratotomy. This operation is performed in order to enablepatients to see better without glasses. The procedure was initially performedon rabbits. But it blinded the first humans. The problem was that the rabbitcornea is able to regenerate on the underside. The human cornea can onlydo this on the surface. Surgery now performed only on the surface.

Thomas Starzl of Pittsburgh has been transplanting organs from animal tohumans for years. Starzl started by experimenting in the laboratory foryears and in the 1990s began to experiment on humans. He stated that baboonliver transplants would be viable in humans in part because baboons wereresistant to hepatitis , a common cause of liver failure and thus the needfor a new liver. It was hoped that the baboon liver would be resistant tothe disease which infected the patient. If the baboon liver functioned properlyperhaps the patient would not re-infect himself with the hepatitis. Howevereven Starzl admitted that, "a baboon liver could impose on a humanrecipient lethal interspecies metabolic differences."
Others were not so optimistic. An advocate of xenotransplantation at Harvard,Dr. Hugh Auchincloss stated, "survival rates reported for allotransplantation(human to human) in those patients with hepatitis B is superior to thatwhich we could expect from xenotransplantation." At autopsy, Starzls'transplanted baboon livers proved to be carrying hepatitis. Of interestis the fact that Dr. Auchincloss also stated that,"successful rodentexperiments do not make an adequate scientific basis for human experimentation."

Two baboon liver transplants were performed in 1993. One died within 4 weeksand the other 10 weeks. The quality of life during the time the patientswere alive was not something anyone would desire. Life in the intensivecare unit, unable to eat, walk, drink eliminate or even breathe withoutconstant mechanical assistance is not a decent quality of life. The firstbaboon liver was infected with CMV, Simian Agent 8, H.Papio and other diseases.Thomas Starzl of the University of Pittsburgh has received over $8,000,000.00in public funding in order to experiment on baboons for xenotransplants.None have so far been successful. Dr. Starzl expressed his contempt forpreventative measures when stated that he had a "cure for alcoholism"referring to liver transplants.
Approximately 4,000 viruses have been identified which occur in humans,animals, plants, and other organisms. Many of these can be transmitted fromxenotransplants (animal to human transplants). Hepadnavirus, papillomavirus,retrovirus, aterivirus, togavirus, adenovirus, parvovirus, hantavirus, papovavirus,and others can cross over to humans, under the right circumstances. Somescientists also postulate that Hepatitis B may have come to humans fromchimpanzees. Chimps harbor the virus asymptotically. The idea of speciescontamination is not new. Millions of doses of polio vaccine were infectedwith SV40. This virus causes cancer in humans. The Marburg virus, from monkeys,killed 7 people in 1967. The clinical manifestations of the virus causedphysicians in Germany to describe their patients as having "blood pouringfrom all apertures." The patients became demented, went into coma,and eventually died secondary to heart failure. The survivors did not faremuch better. Chronic liver failure, impotence and insanity were long termsequellae. HTLV-2 may have originated as STLV in monkeys. The disease causesleukemia in humans. Jacob-Cruetzfeld can cross from sheep and cows and otheranimals to humans. This is the virus that has been associated with "madcow disease" in Great Britain. Rodent hantaviruses can spread fromrodents to humans. Monkey pox, elephantiasis, yellow fever, tuberculosisand other diseases have been documented to spread from animals to humans.The macaque herpes B virus leads to brain infections in humans. It is benignin monkeys. Scientists are now experimenting with pigs because they do notbelieve pigs harbor deadly Ebola like viruses. However, pigs do harbor pseudorabies,leptospirosis, erysipelas, wabah babi, and others. The important questionregarding any animal donor is "what does it harbor that we do not knowabout?" New viruses are being discovered in animals on a regular basis.Some of them do not harm the host animal, but can be deadly for humans.Fortunately for the human race, the viruses stay where they belong unlesswe disturb them. Remember in the movie Jurassic Park when the characterplayed by Jeff Goldblum told the creator of Jurassic Park that "Naturefinds a way." We do not know as much as mother nature. We like to thinkwe do, but we don't. The public health implications of another retroviruswhich could mutate and be passed along like the common cold are devastastating.

Arguably the invention to most change the face of medicine in the 20th centurywas the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) machine. Dr. Gibbon's machine was inpart based on animal experiments. This was in part responsible for the initialfailure of the machine. Two out of 3 of Gibbon's first patients died asa result of the heart-lung machine. When the machine was revised based onstudies of humans by Andresen, the success rate increased. Andresen studiedhuman circulation and contributed the low flow theory of circulation toscience. This is when the blood volume is reduced in order for the patientto be successfully connected to the heart lung machine. It was this humandata which allowed the CPB machine to be successful on humans. Considerthis statement from one of the inventors of modern cardiopulmonary bypass:

"Biomedical research does not need animals any more, but should usecomputers. It is pointless and even dangerous to continue following thetraditional paths, for the differences between man and animals is so greatthat it mostly leads us into errorArtificial heart valves, for example,and also the pacemaker for the heart, were first tested on humans and onlylater was it established that they also function if they are implanted inanimals."

The correction of the congenital heart anomaly called Tetrology of Fallot(TOF) is frequently cited to justify spending money on more animal research.TOF is one of the causes of "blue babies." A Blue baby is onewho does not have enough oxygen in the blood to provide the healthy pinkcolor to the skin. The blood is bypassing the lungs, thus not receivingthe oxygen. A malformation of the heart usually, does not allow blood tocirculate normally. The whole story can be found in Dr. Taussig's memoirsand textbooks of medical history. Cardiologist Helen Taussig suggested asurgical correction of the problem to Alfred Blalock, a surgeon. She basedher suggestion on autopsy findings on the affected infants. Dr. Blalockattempted the procedure on dogs with poor results. Instead of using animalswith heart defects they cut lung tissue out of dogs in an attempt to mimicthe naturally occurring disease. Tetrology of Fallot does occur in dogs,especially Keeshonds, but it is rare. So the animal model was fundamentallyflawed from the start. Dr. Blalock's experience led him to state to Dr.Taussig, "The experiments are suggestive but not very conclusive. Butif you are convinced the operation will work, I am convinced I know howto do it."
Dr. Blalock had in fact not been successful performing the procedure indogs. He thought it could be done in humans based on Dr. Taussig's experienceand based on his surgical experience. Contrast his statement with this statementfrom those promoting animal research, "The (animal) experiments wereso successful and confirmed Dr. Taussig's theory so completely that Blalockfelt he could venture to operate on one of the poor children."(HugoGlaser, The Miracle of Heart Surgery, London, Lutterworth Press, 1961, p59)
This is where the statement, "Which would you rather save one bluebaby or one brown dog?" comes from. It is not based on historical factbut rather someone's wishful thinking. Sloppy thinking such as exemplifiedby the above lead one surgeon to state,"The abolition of vivisectionwould in no way halt medical progress, just the opposite is the case. Allthe sound medical knowledge of today stems from observations carried outon human beings. No surgeon can gain least knowledge from experiments onanimals, and all the great surgeons of the past and of the present day arein agreement on that."

The development of the artificial heart valve, which has helped tens ofthousands of people was delayed secondary to research in dogs. Dogs provedto be very good at making blood clots around the new valve. The blood clotscould lead to stoke or pulmonary embolism or other complications in humans.Therefore, researchers would not release it to humans. Many people diedas a result of the new valves not being available. The entire reason thevalves were not released was based on a myth. Dogs and humans do not clotin the same way. Humans did not have the same problem with the valves andmany people have the artificial valves implanted each year. Some valvesdo require anti-coagulants to avoid the complications, but this was notthe pointed out by the dog experiments.
What would happen if we did indeed abolish surgical training and experimentationon animals? Researchers at Tulane University have at least partially addressedthis question. They examined complication rates for the then relativelynew procedure of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. They compared the complicationrate of those who practiced on animals with those who did not. They foundno difference between the groups. Another area where animals are routinelyused is in training physicians to handle major trauma. Advanced Trauma LifeSupport (ATLS) courses are costly in part because of the cost of the animals.One hospital in Georgia decreased cost by 50% by eliminating dogs from thecourse. Human cadavers were used instead. The participants evaluated thecourse as equal or better than courses using dogs. More recent studies haverevealed the physicians taking ATLS prefer human cadavers to animals. Thisis not surprising. If you operate on humans it only makes sense to learnon cadavers. Dr. Salvatore Rocca Rossetti, surgeon and Professor of Urologyat the University of Turin, Italy, states that, "Nobody has becomea surgeon because of having operated on animals. He has only learnt wronglythrough animals. I have been able to see this over my many decades as asurgeon, also as a Director of hospitals. I have carried out tens of thousandsof operations on people without ever performing them first on an animal."

Dr. Werner Hartinger of Germany agrees:
"The claim, frequently heard, that animal experimentation is vitalfor the training of surgeons and that practice on living animals is necessaryto gain manual and operating skills cannot be left unchallenged. A surgeonacquires his basic knowledge by observing and then assisting his teacher.In time, according to his experience, ability and manual dexterity he participatesin supervised operating duties, until the surgeon responsible for his training,decides as to when he can start operating on his own. Specialized knowledgeof microsurgery is gained in the same way, just as working at the surgicalmicroscope does not call for operating on animals."

In England, surgeons have not been allowed to practice surgery on animalssince 1876.

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