International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals

History of Animal Experiments

17: Tissue Culture Toxicity Testing

Unfortunately, continued reliance on animal "safety" tests has delayed the full development of these systems. An International Workshop on the Application of Tissue Culture in Toxicology reported in 1980 that funds for the development of relevant tissue culture systems must be almost negligible compared with the total costs for toxicity testing.(52) It has been known for decades that human tissue culture offers great promise for the safety evaluation of chemicals (53) yet the emphasis is still overwhelmingly on animal experiments. Perhaps industry is deterred by the fear that human cell tests would be seen as additional rather than replacements for animal experiments.

The time has come to challenge Claude Bernard's medieval doctrine that lives can only be saved by sacrificing others, and that animal experimentation is a valid system of research. The very uncertainty of animal experiments shows that it can never be a choice between dogs and babies. The real choice lies between good science and bad science. Vivisection is bad science because it tells us about animals when we need to know about people. If medical science is to achieve its full potential and attain the image of a noble and humanitarian endeavor, then we must relegate animal experiments to the history book where they truly belong.


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