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Animal Models - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences

Animal Models - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences


Neal D. Barnard's letter to the editor (The Scientist, Nov.15, 1993, page 12) concerning the recent commentary by Frederick K. Goodwin and Adrian R. Morrison (The Scientist, Sept.6, 1993, page 12) is telling. Once again, Barnard cleverly zooms in on grains of truth and uses highly selective data, ignoring completely the vast body of information that does not support his ideological bias. While Barnard comments on anecdotal evidence relating to several cases in which data derived from animal experiments were not applicable to human clinical situations, he completely misses critical points. For example according to the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, each year approximately 5,000 new chemical entities are synthesized. Of these 5,000 new chemical entities, 500 are tested in isolated systems, 250 are tested in animals, five are tested in human clinical studies, and only one is ultimately approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Obviously, the important lesson in these data is the protection afforded to society by these rigorous testing processes. At issue is not what we have failed to learn but rather what we have learned. We must all beware of pronouncements made by an individual whose scientific acumen is driven by personal philosophy that ignores
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