Animal experimentation seriously weakened by the scandal of GM corn fed rats.

5 octobre 2012

An important statement form Florence Bugnat, Director of research at INRA, in Le monde national newspaper makes it clear : if we were looking for evidence of un-reliability of extrapolation to man of data obtained through animal experimentation, the recent controversy which led to the publication of the study by Gilles ‑Eric Séralini on GM corn provides them.

Indeed, by revealing to the public that two different strains of rats won’t develop the same symptoms or the same diseases, arguing that there is a significant interspecific variability, researchers, in the same, time cast doubt on the reliability of using the “animal model” to determine the health standards for humans and, more generally, to understand the ways that humans can be affected and, at the end, how to offer efficient healthcare.

(…) this controversy has brought into light the question of the relevance of extrapolation from animal to man on which is based bio-medical research and, consequently, the validity of results.

This element adds another, and not less disturbing, point : Revealing that the variability in response depending on which strain is prefered from another was well known to researchers and the industrials with who they work, pointed out the limits of the study.They implicitly admit that it is possible to obtain a particular result depending on the animal line chosen to run the testing procedures.
In other words : We know very well how to produce results that are most favorable to the request for authorization on the market simply using the line that does not develop the dreaded disease (…)

Alternative methods for such experiences exist and must be financially supported and encouraged in their development. If they have, like any method, their own limits, they offer new ways of research and understanding of the disease and break with this tragic system that we need to sicken and kill living creatures to save others, following a metaphysical distinction between “man and beast” that yet don’t resist this consideration.