Company Laboratories Animal Testing Biology Essay

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Animals are used to test thousands of cosmetic and household products each year. Some companies that use animal testing are Iams, Arm and Hammer, Olay, Max Factor, L'Oreal USA , Colgate-Palmolive Co, Pantene, Johnson & Johnson and Cover Girl. These are just a few of the many companies that use animal testing for their products. It is also used for medical research. These are done by universities to test out new medications and study its effects as well as experimental procedures and tests. It is very disturbing at how many companies are out there that do animal testing and take risks on our health based on the results of these tests. It is horrifying the procedures used to test their products on these defenseless animals.

Company laboratories rub cosmetics on the animals' skin to check if it irritates their skin. Then they put it in their eyes to check if it irritate their eyes. Finally they force some of the test material down their throats to check if it is toxic. Example: "Unilever, Clorox, Church & Dwight, Johnson & Johnson, and others, poison and harm animals in tests that aren't even required by federal laws. Rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, and other animals are forced to swallow or inhale" large amounts of the test material. They are forced to go through extreme pain when these chemicals are rubbed into their eyes and skin. Sometimes it even leads to death. Another example is Iams cruel tests on cats and dogs. For example, They would remove the right kidneys and damage the left kidneys of 24 dogs to study kidney failure. They would also expose the stomachs of 28 cats to observe the effects of fiber on their diets.

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Universities perform many medical tests and experiments on animals. Some testing is not done for medical advancement but to satisfy the curiosity of scientists. Example: "Monkeys are addicted to drugs and have holes drilled into their skulls." Some of these tests have gone to the point where they will break an animal's limbs to see how well they tolerate pain. They will also go as far as cutting off a limb with no anesthesia and letting the animal bleed just to see how long the animal would tolerate the pain as well as how long it would take the animal to bleed to death. This is like the Holocaust all over again but with animals. This is inhumane and does not serve any medical purpose.

Animal testing is unreliable and dangerous to humans. Scientists do not want to accept that animals and people do not react to certain chemicals the same way. For example, medication that has been said to be safe for humans by tests done on animals, have caused severe side effects. The medication Thalidomide which passed these tests are given to pregnant women who suffer from severe morning sickness. However, the side effects were horrible because it caused 10,000 children around the world to be born deformed. Some were born with their hands attached to their elbows and had no forearms. Others had their feet attached to their knees and had their lower legs missing. The company who manufactured this medication really did nothing except changed the name of the drug. Years later, the drug was withdrawn but they still continued to test it on pregnant animals. Stilboestril, a synthetic oestrogen) was also tested on animals for years. However, it created a new type of cancer (vaginal cancer). It showed up in the daughters of the women who took this drug.

Medications have also caused deaths. Isoprotenenol killed approximately 3,500 asthma patients. Phenformin which was used to treat diabetics was withdrawn after 18 years because it was killing about 1,000 people a year. That's 18,000 people! The fact is that "even if a product has blinded an animal, it can still be sold or administered to you." All these drugs tested successfully on animals. Some scientists who are against animal testing have said that animal testing is valueless and that "95% of drugs tested on animals fail when given to healthy volunteers and human patients." It has been proven over and over that animal testing is unreliable and dangerous. However, scientists and companies continue to do these tests without regard to the damage it can cause to human life.

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Dr. Robert Sharpe was a Senior research Chemist at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London. He strongly believes that the use of animal testing is unreliable and misleading. According to Dr. Sharpe, some of the animal tests that passed turned out to be misleading and dangerous to humans. One medication was chloramphenicol. This is an antibiotic that was considered safe. However, it causes near blindness, severe pain in the foot that would not allow the person to be able to walk. This medication affected the nerve cells in the body. It also caused aplastic anaemia which is a fatal blood disease that ends in leukemia.

Butadiene was tested on cancer-prone mice and showed that it would result in about 597 cancers per 10,000 people. However, after observing butadiene plant workers who were exposed to higher levels of the chemical than the mice did not experience any cancers.

Chymotrypsin is successfully used in ophthalmic surgery to treat cataracts in humans. However, when tested on animals it was found to be unsafe.

The medication used mostly for analgesic for severe pain is called morphine. This medication was found through human studies. It was later tested on animals and was found that the animals developed an irregular and jerky movement, their pupils would dilate abnormally and created hyper-excitement in cats. However, it has the opposite effect on humans.

Other examples of medications and misleading information are Zomax, an arthritis drug, was responsible for the death of 14 people and caused suffering to many more. Statistics show that "less than 2% of human illnesses (1.16%) are ever seen in animals; 95% of drugs passed by animal tests are immediately discarded as useless or dangerous to humans; at least 50 drugs on the market cause cancer in laboratory animals. Lemon juice is a deadly poison, but arsenic, hemlock and botulin are safe according to animal tests; 88% of stillbirths are caused by drugs which are passed as being safe in animal tests according to a study in Germany; 61% of birth defects are caused by drugs passed safe in animal tests, according to the same study."

Class B dealers are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). There are 10 class B dealers in the United States. These dealers sell cats and dogs to research institutes for use in experiments. They get their animal from several different sources.

They mostly get their animals from animal shelters, flea markets, and auctions. Some of these class b dealers get their animals from bunchers. Bunchers are unregulated middlemen who pick up strays, answer ads from people looking to find a good home for their pets, and even steal pets from the owners' backyards. After they purchase the animals, they transport them to research centers. "During 2007, 2,863 Class B dogs and 276 Class B" cats were sold for research purposes according to the USDA.

Six out of the 10 Class B dealers are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for alleged violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). However, it does not protect animals when used in experimentation. It only states the handling of animals care, housing, treatment, ventilation, lighting, shelter, veterinary care and separation by species.

Some research centers no longer purchase these Class B animals. Such as American Association Veterinary Medical Colleges. However, universities still use them as the purchase price of these animals are cheaper.

There are alternatives to animal testing. Cell tissue and organ cultures. These can be obtained and prepared from any part of the body. Drugs and substances can be tested on these cultures at a speed 1000 times than testing the same drug or substance on animals. It would also be more accurate as you are testing on human tissue. Some schools are using computer technology to test drugs or substances by mimicking the functions of internal organs This is also being used in classes where dissection is required but no longer required students to dissect a live frog. Instead, they do it virtually.

Why can't this be done for all kinds of experiments?

Some major medical breakthroughs that did not involve animal testing. One example is blood transfusions. In 1667, the physician of Louis the 14th, transfused animal blood to people and would kill them. However, an American scientist discovered blood typing without animal experiments and led to successful blood transfusions. Another example is bypass surgery. In 1961, Dr. Kunlin used a portion of a person's vein to replace blocked segments.

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We can help stop animal testing by not purchasing products made by companies who do animal testing. You can also join or support organizations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and the Humane Society, that work toward stopping cruel experimentation and useless animal testing. You can also contact these companies and express your opinion and concerns regarding their practice of testing their products on animals.

By consuming certain household products, food, and over the counter medications, we contribute to this abuse and torture. More and more animals are tortured and killed each year and more humans will suffer near fatal side effects or death. No living creature should be subjected to cruelty. There are so many other testing alternatives that remove the need to subject animals to cruel and horrifying tests which are done in the name of "advancement". Greed is not advancement. Vanity is not advancement. However, saving a life is advancement when done morally. Think about the animal that lost its sight and went through so much pain so you can wear your mascara or lipstick or wear the latest popular perfume. Can you live guilt-free knowing how a poor defenseless rabbit suffered and died so you can have smooth skin and be wrinkle free. If it breathes, it can feel. Life is sacred and we do not have the right to take it away from any living creature regardless of the species. Animal testing is unreliable and cruel because there are other alternatives for testing. As Dr. Moneim A. Fadali of UCLA said "Animal models differ from their human counterparts. Conclusions drawn from animal research when applied to human disease are likely to delay progress and mislead and harm the patient."