portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

animal rights

ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION IS HIDDEN CAUSE OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION

The toxic chemicals contained in myriad products contaminate our air, soil, streams, oceans, and underground water supplies-as well as our food and bodies-and yet the FDA and the CMA (Chemical Manufacturers Association) assure us that all is well.
ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION IS HIDDEN CAUSE OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION
by Diane Danielson, contributing writer

Have you ever wondered how the toxic chemicals contained in myriad products that are manufactured for commercial, industrial, agricultural, household and personal use in the United States ever get on the market? These chemicals contaminate our air, soil, streams, oceans, and underground water supplies-as well as our food and bodies-and yet the FDA and the CMA (Chemical Manufacturers Association) assure us that all is well.

How can this be? The answer is simple: animal experimentation provides the false alibi that chemical companies need to "prove" that their toxic chemicals are safe. From these "studies," staggering amounts of ambiguous, contradictory and invalid data are compiled. It is from these data that the "scientists" draw their "scientific" conclusions. And, of course, animal experimentation suits their purposes perfectly because its non-conclusive and contradictory nature allows both the scientists and the chemical manufacturers to arrive at any kind of conclusion they desire. For example, if they want to "prove" that a particular chemical is non-carcinogenic over long periods of time, they will cite data from animals with very short life spans. "See, nothing bad happened over a whole lifetime". On the other hand, if they wish to prove the same chemical is a carcinogen, then, with just as much conviction, they can present other laboratory tests (using other animals) that show the chemical to be carcinogenic.

Dr. Bruce Ames, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of California at Berkeley, reported: "Of 392 chemicals in our database tested in both rats and mice, 96 of these were positive in the mouse and negative in the rat or vice versa. Conversely, important human carcinogens may not be detected in standard test in rodents. For all practical purposes, there is a 50/50 chance that a mouse carcinogen would be a rat carcinogen as well - this amounts to the flip of a coin. This means that there is absolutely no correlation between a rat and a mouse. If there is no correlation between two such ‘closely’ related animals, there certainly can never be one between a rat and a dog, or a dog and a cat, let alone any correlation between any of these animals and the human animal."

The result? Reliance on invalid animal experiments protects the chemical empire and allows the existence of carcinogens, teratogens, and toxicants of all sorts in our food, air, water, home, and workplace. And when humans are inevitably damaged by the toxins, the chemical companies fall back on their false science (animal experimentation) to "prove" that all the proper steps were taken to insure safety, thus avoiding any liability for products they knew were toxic in the first place. And people are none the wiser.

Chemicals continue to be made and sold to cause old and new maladies, ensuring that the profits keep rolling in. A river of gold is pumped into this mammoth establishment, the lush survival of which depends on a state of no cure. Absurd, or is it?

You can make a clear statement of non-support for the chemical industry by buying organic foods, non-toxic cleaning supplies, and products not tested on animals.

homepage: homepage: http://www.portland.earthsave.org