When disaster strikes, criticism of animal "safety" testing is rarely mentioned.
During the 1960s thousands of young asthmatics died following use of isoprenaline aerosol inhalers. Isoprenaline is a powerful asthma drug and deaths were recorded in countries using a particularly concentrated form of aerosol. Animal tests once again failed to reveal the hazards and indeed cats could tolerate 175 times the dose found dangerous to asthmatics. Even after the event it proved difficult to reproduce the effects in laboratory animals.(30)
Japan suffered a major epidemic of drug-induced disease in the case of clioquinol, the main ingredient of antidiarrhoea medicine Enterovioform. At least 10,000 people were victims of a new disease called SMON (subacute myelo-optic neuropathy) whose symptoms included weakness in the legs, paralysis and eye problems including blindness. The effects are caused by nerve damage yet tests by Ciba Geigy with rats, cats, beagles and rabbits revealed no evidence that clioquinol is neurotoxic.(30)
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