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Cynthia Bethea, who performs invasive experiments on intellegent primates at OHSU

Here's the face of a primate researcher.
What do you think?

Is that the same Cynthia Bethea? 07.Jul.2005 21:37

who lives at.....

10367 NW Alpenglow Way
Portland, OR 97229
Phone: 503-292-5744

Should someone give her a call to let her know what we think of her occupation? Pay phones work really well for this, and you can even use them 24 hours a day!!

Cindy's "research" 07.Jul.2005 22:07

....

....involves using monkeys who live in cages to try to learn about problems that women face while on their periods, as though there aren't enough human clinical models! These monkeys are completely stressed, living in unnatural conditions. How is Cindy supposed to extrapolate data from stressed out, isolated monkeys and apply it to women living freely out in the world? Lastly, monkeys are not human beings and therefore not good models. Duh!!!

Check out these informative websites:

 http://www.curedisease.com/
 http://www.curedisease.net/
 http://www.ohsukillsprimates.com/

Home Demonstrations Work 08.Jul.2005 06:10

A Reader

I read on another AR web site that a small group of activists visited Cynthia Bethea's home again on Tuesday night, after several requests that she come out and speak with them, she and her young daughter actually did. Of course Ms. Bethea defended her research and denied any wrong doing but in the end she invited the group to come out and visit her lab inside the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Personally, I think this is a step in the right direction. Instead of the researchers hiding behind locked doors, both at work and at home, this one actually came forward and had a civil conversation with the opposing side. After leaving Bethea's home this same group of protesters reportedly went on to the home of Robert Brenner, another researcher. The same scenario occurred, the group asked him to come outside and speak with them and he complied. He too, said he would welcome this group to visit his lab and take a tour of the facility. To anyone who has any doubts that home demonstrations do not work, let this demonstrate to them that THEY DO! When was the last time you heard of OHSU researchers and animal rights activists exchanging ideas,beliefs and thoughts. It just does not happen. Not until now. A BIG 'THANK YOU' to this dedicated group. I hope you will tell the readers, in more detail, what happened that night.

That's an ugly mug. 08.Jul.2005 09:08

observer

And here's the ugly face of primate research...

o.k. 08.Jul.2005 14:46

hmm

Good job with the "civil discourse." Now, will anyone actually get in to see the animals - not the sanitized version OHSU wants you to see, but all the monkeys? No, I guarantee it. After the whistleblower video came out, a legit reporter from one of the big 3 stations tried to get in to see the monkeys in question, and they prevented him. The station that ran the story had their OHSU advertising pulled. I assure you, OHSU will not let you see all the animals (and they could do it, say, behind one-way glass, or with video cameras mounted in rooms - but watching wild animals isolated in small cages self-mutilate and go crazy is not a pretty sight - OHSU does not want you to see the reality of what goes on in there). If anyone can prove me wrong - go ahead. It won't happen.

OHSU does not want transparency with their research. OHSU/researchers want to know the identities of protestors, and to take any intimidation factor out of these home visits. That's likely what the friendly meet and greets accomplished. But feel free to prove me wrong.

OHSU/researchers have had a standing invitation for a dialogue for very long time from In Defense of Animals. In fact, IDA has been literally begging for a public dialogue about these issues, to no avail.

Do you think a little friendly discourse would have made the Nazi doctor Mengele see the light? Do you think a little friendly discourse will make long time animal killers Martha Neuringer, Judy Cameron, Cynthea Bethea and the like suddenly realize that it's not o.k. to use sentient beings as lab equipment?

When you wake up from the dream that you can force people with no conscience to grow one, look around at what has worked in the past. Researcher Michael Podell quit, and his lament was not over how bad he felt about abusing animals, but because he couldn't bear the heat of activists. Company after company pulls out of HLS, not because of some friendly dialogue but because, well, go to shacamerica.net

Not saying what anyone should do - hell, who am I to say, I don't do a damn thing for the animals or anyone else - I'm just an armchair observer of these things - but look at the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of what you're doing. Not to be critical of activists, but be aware of the history of your movement.

To "Reader" 08.Jul.2005 15:43

......

You seem pretty confident that these protesters are well on their way to success. You mention in your post that home demonstrations DO work and that this is a perfect example. Well then, what is so successful about the conversations between researchers & activists? You say they shared ideas, thoughts, etc... well then are we just waiting for the researchers to realize how ethically wrong they have been throughout their entire careers and quit their jobs in disgust? Or is this supposed tour of the primate center going to take the activists great strides in the AR movement? I'm not trying to be sarcastic and pessimistic, but I can't help it! I just don't see OHSU keeping their promise to allow these activists to tour the primate center, and if they do it will be the same tour that any member of the public would get. They won't see the monkeys who are caged individually. They won't see any violations of the animal welfare act. They won't see the psychotic, self-mutilating monkeys like the ones on Matt Rossell's video tape. They will see the "happy" monkeys. Personally, I am NOT opposed to home demos. In fact, I think they serve a purpose. But it seems like OHSU's strategy in this case was to learn more information about these activists by engaging in conversation with them. And it looks like it worked.

to the person who wrote "o.k." 08.Jul.2005 17:10

--

You rock. I agree with you 100%. Why are these activists recreating what IDA has been doing for 5+ years?

Time to unite and 08.Jul.2005 17:44

stop bickering

--
No one is attempting to recreate the efforts of IDA. IDA has been asking for a public forum with OHSU. These other protesters are simply wanting to be allowed to go inside the primate center and see whatever they can first hand. Maybe you are not aware that activists generally are not allowed onto OHSU property. Have you seen the primate center beyond the sidewalk out front? I haven't and I doubt many others have either. It is a closed and tightly secured campus. Why are so many indy readers trying to down play this and criticize those who have been putting forth an effort to bring about change? As long as we have discord amongst ourselves OHSU will prevail. You are playing right into their bloody hands.

Whoa there!! 08.Jul.2005 20:53

Keith

I live up the street from Cynthia and I was present during the demonstration there on July 5. I cannot understand why the activists with the bullhorns who were shouting "cynthia quit your job cynthia come out and talk" would not listen when she came out to talk? She came out to talk and answer questions but rarely did she get to finish a statement. There was one young woman who said "you digust me and I refuse to listen to what you have to say" so...... why did she shout "come out and talk:"????? I just read the posting on Indymedia and it does not say anything about Cynthia's trying to dialog with the folks who are basically insulting her and invading her privacy by coming to her home. As a private citizen of this neighborhood, I also resent this invasion and I will be supporting any legislation in Oregon that makes these home visits illegal. I was especially amazed by comments that indicated the activists do not know the difference between monkeys and apes as they stand there screaming and shouting about primate research. It seems to me that the activists are simultaneously bashing the scientists and then asking for dialogue and cooperation from the very people they are bashing. This is not going to work.

from the enemy 08.Jul.2005 21:38

Cynthia Bethea

Upon the insulting invasion of the privacy of my home on July 5, I came out to "answer questions" from a group of animal activists which was SO NOT the objectiove of calling me out. I let the activists deride me,insult me and my life's work in front of my 9 year old daughter and neighbors. I never once said one insulting or disrepectful comment to anyone. I support the First Amendment. I have offered to approach my administration and try to start a dialogue. Next day, see posting. Lets think about this approach. Trash, bash and ask for WHAT???? People, this is not fruitful. Even N.Korea does a better job of trying to obtain a diplomatic relationship with their enemy. My position is that we are not going to convert the other, ever. Forget conversion. How about a treaty? What would it take to stop the hostility and work toward a goal that we can all agree has value? Is there one teeny tiny line that we can agree on?? Can we at least agree that we value LIFE?? One major reason that scientists are not willing to dialogue is evidenced in the posting. The distortion of my research goals is very disappointing but understandable given that I was not allowed to finish a sentence. So, what is your objective? Just harassment perhaps, but give it up. Dead end. I am deeply committed to the BASIC research that I do on serotonin neural function in females and NHP ARE THE BEST MODEL FOR HUMAN NEURAL FUNCTION. You may disagree but you are in opposition to a century of research to the contrary. If you are frustrated that there is a long time delay between basic research and human health problems, then we have another thing in common. If you want to shut down the primate center, we have nothing to talk about. If you are capable of giving up the 50 year old posters, the home visits and the rhetoric, then dialogue is possible but concessions will be required in order for everyone's civil rights to be honored and respected. There are people in your movement who will argue that nothing is to be gained from working with the scientists at ONPRC. I respectfully disagree. Let me be clear, this is not about debate. There will be NO debate. Nothing is to be gained from publically disagreeing one more time. I am advocating a civilized negotiation which will produce a treaty between warring parties in order to end unproductive demonstrations and escalating hostilities. The question is, what do you really want??? And is there anyone who can represent the animal activist movement in Portland in order for us to have someone to negotiate with??

Visitation 08.Jul.2005 22:00

Cynthia Bethea

I would like for the public to know that the primate center has tours all the time. All you have to do is call Diana Gordon and she will schedule a time for you to join a tour. There is currently a short list of individuals associated with groups advocating the death of scientists who have been barred from the campus but even this is negotiable. Our experience with providing access to animal rights activists has generally been negative because of the preconcieved notions and because the access is used to further bash us. So, lets think about this. When you want cooperation from someone, do you bash them, harass them and bully them? Hum, not the way I was brought up. One of our scientists has animals on a reverse light cycle and B.D. has continued to maintain that the lights were out to hide something, when it was quite simply, night time for that particular group of individuals. This kind of density is so not going to promote further effort from ONPRC. Regarding access to monkeys: they do not like strangers, they are stressed by strangers. So, no you cannot stress animals that are currently in protocols. The monkeys can catch TB from humans. No humans are allowed near monkeys without prior proof that they do not have TB. Most of the animals are in large or small group housing. A huge effort has been made to pair house any animals in cages. A greatly expanded program for psychological well being headed by a Ph.D. with a good staff is now in place. However, so much nasty bashing has occurred from the animal activists that nobody wants to deal with them.
Now, is there a lesson there somewhere? What is the objective? Stand out in the rain and shout over 50 year old posters or actually play a role in animal care and well being. You choose. For the record, primate chairs were abolished at ONPRC about 18 years ago, long before Matt could spell primate. And at the age of 52, i have never seen the crown depicted on the Silver Spring monkey in activist posters. That's because the poster is older than I am. Times do change.

To Cynthia 09.Jul.2005 00:22

activist

I happen to be one of the people who stood in front of your house that evening, and I proudly stand by what I said that night: what you do for a living makes me sick to my stomach. Unfortunately, you and your fellow researchers have never been willing to publicly defend your research, therefore leaving tax-paying citizens like me no choice but to peacefully confront you at home.

You conveniently point out that the particular pieces of equipment pictured above are out of date; however, do you understand that the reason they are displayed is to remind us what horrific things people will do to animals for the sake of "research"? And you're not even accurate because chairs like that ARE still used! What do you think is used to perform electro-ejaculation on a monkey? Regardless, the psychological and physical suffering that the monkeys endure in current research is undeniably just as severe as what they suffered years ago. Petty details you are pointing out, Cindy. Is a monkey meant to live his or her entire life in a cage? No. And is that unimaginably cruel? Yes. One thing that surprised me the night we spoke was that you actually had the audacity to imply that there is a fair exchange given to the monkeys - that somehow even though we are confining them in barren laboratories, subjecting them to painful experiments, we are at least "saving" them from what might happen in the wild. Cindy, please. Stop grasping at such ridiculous excuses to justify your unethical career.

The pathetic thing is you are obviously ashamed of what you do. Your daughter proved that to us by blurting out that she believed the monkeys became sick in the wild. Where did your daughter get that idea? Did you tell her that because you don't want her to know the truth? That YOU in fact are making them "sick"? Think about it Cindy, your 9 year old daughter would be terrified knowing what you really do for a living. Personally, I think that's a sign that you are a greedy person without a conscience. You're not curing AIDS. You're not searching for a cure for cancer. You're using monkeys to satisfy your own sick curiosity.

As far as I am concerned, there is no compromise that can be reached. I do not want to interact with you in a diplomatic manner. I'm not going to tour the research center because I have no interest in seeing the monkeys OHSU will allow me to see. The only thing that would satisfy me is if you quit your job and had some sort of epiphany, but that's obviously unrealistic. So we can agree to disagree. But just remember that what you do for a living would likely give your 9 year old daughter nightmares if you were actually truthful with her.

If you really want to have a diplomatic conversation with someone, please call In Defense of Animals. They are ready and willing to participate in a civil discussion. You mentioned in our post that "there will be NO debate." Why? It certainly sounds as if you're confident in your research. Are you afraid of being proven wrong? Whatever the reason, if you change your mind, Dr. Ray Greek is openly inviting a dialogue with any researcher this summer - contact IDA at 503-249-9996 for more information. Personally, I'd love to see you go up against him when you can hardly hold your own with protesters!

Oh, 09.Jul.2005 01:09

give me a break

so you feel "invaded" Cynthia? Imagine living your life alone in a cage, as many hundreds of monkeys (I believe at least 700 at this point, but could be wrong on that number - certainly OHSU is not open with their records) at the primate center do, having your entire life and body completely invaded by human perpetrators at their whim. Imagine having your body donated to science while you're still in it. Imagine being ripped away from your mother at birth and being left alone in a cage for life, as your colleague Martha Neuringer does to these animals.

For anyone who wants a look at the reality of monkey research, take a look at these videos taken within the last year and a half (since Cydi's so worried about modern equipment). Like OHSU, they say that they follow the strictest of animal welfare guidelines (OHSU contracts with this lab too, by the way). Contact IDA for a video of what was found inside OHSU. Because you sure as hell won't get in to see the monkeys they don't want you to see.

* website:  http://www.buav.org/covance/
free, downloadable video:  http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=covance
* website:  http://covancecruelty.com/ (video for this one on link)

Hey Cydi - they could easily put a video camera in each room, so people could monitor *all* the monkeys, even from the internet. They could put them behind one-way glass so people could see *all* the monkeys on a tour. They could even let a respected representative who isn't allied with the primate center like Ray Greek M.D. (of course with proof of a TB shot or whatever the hell excuse you're offering) go in with or without a video camera to see each of the animals. The sanitized tour of some selected group-housed monkeys that don't happen to be used in invasive experiments at the moment just isn't going to do it. If OHSU wants to prove that the monkeys (and dogs and cats and other animals) are all so well cared for, and every video that has been taken at every lab is *somehow* not showing what's going on in there, they could do it thusly. If OHSU wants to prove the animal activists wrong, they have the means readily at hand to do it. It's called transparency, and OHSU will never do it, and you know it. Stop being disingenuous and pretending to offer something you will never deliver - and looking for some way that you can point to that activists have misbehaved (in your mind) so then you can use that as an excuse to dismiss the whole concern.

And hey, if these animals are so very like us that vivisectors think they make great models for humans psychologically and physically, you're really going to have to answer to how it's ethical to use them in ways that we would consider shockingly barbaric and unethical if done to humans.

Those sensitive animals are as captive and tortured as jews were inside concentration camps. You, Cynthia, are their Mengele. Should I not point out your selfishness and cruelty, in order to be civil? Should I not point out the irony of someone who daily does something so barbaric, while asking for civility for her soul-killingly evil self? Does that turn you off? If someone were torturing kids like your daughter, would you put on your happy hat and pretend everything was just fine, and that there's a compromise to be made on confinement, use, pain, and death inflicted on sentient, helpless beings (i.e.torture)?

(And by the way, below is a picture of a monkey at OHSU in a restraining chair taken within the last few years. Since you're concerned with modernity of equipment, do you think it matters to the monkeys if they're restrained in the old-fashioned plastic kind or this new metal kind? And hey look, right next to it is a picture of a monkey in a lab taken recently in one of those so-called "old" devices. So while, yes, you do have some years on you - as well as a haggard looking face, gross teeth, and a *huge* watermelon stomach I might add - the pictures are not so dated as you imagine).
OHSU chair
OHSU chair

Two Cents 09.Jul.2005 01:56

xyster xysterxxavier@comcast.net

A despotic government is one that forces it's citizens, by way of a tax on their labor, to fund public projects that an individual taxpayer finds morally reprehensible - whether war, research or industrial in nature.
A sales tax excluding certain staples necessary to live, in lieu of the income tax, would at least let everybody put their money where their beliefs are, and not towards projects in opposition to their beliefs.
No, it wouldn't solve the basic disagreement illustrated above; it could go part way toward enforcing accountability, via natural free market mechanisms. Sufficiently unpopular public projects would not receive sufficient public tax money to proceed.


reply to activist 09.Jul.2005 08:44

Cynthia Bethea

I am going to try and reply to some of the mis-statements made by this activist.
First, I respect that this person has deeply held convictions which are different from mine. My convictions are as deep and mutual respect would be appreciated.

1. Me and my fellow researchers have tried to defend our research. I will continue to defend my research, but it would be nice if I could actually finish a sentence. I cannot provide the background to research in biological psychiatry in a 30 second sound bite.

2. No, I do not understand the display of outdated posters for the sake of memory. TImes change, progress is made, the care of NHP has drastically improved.

3. The vast majority of the monkeys at our center are in large and small outdoor group housing. The minor percent of monkeys in cages are pair housed for soical interaction, grooming, etc and they have various devices for entertainment including TV. Again, things have moved forward since Matt R was there. I recognize that none of this is going to satisfy this activist and that nothing short of closing the center will satisfy this person. However, there may be people out there who need to know and that we really sincerely care about our animals and their well being. Therefore, I completely disagree with the statement that ' what the monkeys endure today is the same as yesterday'. Many many things have changed.

4. I did not state that we are saving them from the wild. I do think that there are certain trade offs. They receive incredible health care, consistent food, water, treats and entertainment. They are not subjected to parasites, prevailing severe weather, food shortages, foraging, predation.
Clearly, this activist does not think that this is a fair trade but I would argue that it is not all bad.

5. I would like to mention that electroejaculation which is used infrequently with monkeys is IDENTICAL to that used on paralyzed people with spinal cord injuries etc who want to have children.

6. I am not ashamed of what I do and it is really annoying for someone who does not know me at all to make a statement like this which projects feelings onto me that are inaccurate. My daughter is a smart little naturalist and realist and her statement that monkeys get sick in the wild is completely accurate.

7. I do not understand the statement that I make monkeys sick. That is another one of the inane type of statements that no one in this camp comprehends. Sick animals are not acceptable in research.

8. If the activist is referring to the development of stereotypies in some animals, then they need to know that we are committed to finding a cure for this type of behavior.

9. The activist is correct in that I am not a virologist or a cancer researcher. I am a neuroscientist. My work is providing the biological underpinning for advancing the treatment and prevention of mental disorders. I hope that this person's grandchildren will be immunized against post-traumatic stress syndrome, schizophrenia, depression, autism and obsessive compulsive disorder along with the usual childhood illnesses. The wheels of discovery and application development move slowly and I cannot help that, unfortunately.

10. This person would rather shout in the rain with 50 year old posters than accept that the primate center is not going to close and that it might be possible to participate in the process of improving the care and well being of our animals. Okey dokey.

11. The reason that I said NO debate is because they are useless. These issues have been debated ad nauseum and its a waste of time. Nothing is solved. Everybody is frustrated. It is time to recognize that we are not going to change the other's mind and that large numbers of people in the world support biomedical research with animals. It is time to stop the shouting and look for a common value from which a process can evolve.

Sincerely,
Cynthia L. Bethea, Ph.D.
ONPRC

Satisfied 09.Jul.2005 11:12

--

I'd be satisfied if you treated the monkeys the same way you would treat human volunteers--but OHSU won't because that would cut into profits. I also understand that OHSU is farming monkeys to sell to other research labs--creating life to inflict pain and eventually destroy it. Horrors.

Let me ask you this: would you rather be free, where chances are you will die in a car accident, or would you rather be in jail where you have a guaranteed bed and 3 hot meals a day. Sound good?

And why are the monkeys afraid of people? Could it be because of the harsh way they are handled?

Sure, people undergo medical procdedures, but can you imagine the horror of being in the hands if a doctor whose primary interest isn't your well-being? I imagine no human has the electro-ejaculation procedure performed on him more than 200 times in a year.

One poster is right--you could put a small camcorder in the room to let people see what really goes on without endangering an experiment or scaring the monkeys. This is why some people become angered that your objections are obstructionist rather than sincere.

Yes, we can agree that we both value life. I would love to see "compromises" that are meaningful, but the only compromises I would accept are financially unrealistic. If you put the monkeys suffering above finances, I would be happy to dialogue.

activist in agreement 09.Jul.2005 11:33

dana

I am an animal rights activist. I have some fairly "extreme" opinions about the way we treat animals, including being 100% against using them as our research tools. I also agree with Ms. Bethea. Dialogue is not going to put an end to animal research. At best it can help to improve animal's living situations, reduce repetitive research, increase clinical research, and change how research is carried out in many small ways so fewer animals suffer. I am all for dialogue and making even small changes, but I never forget that the real goal is to end the use of animals in research. Ms. Bethea's goal is to continue her work. All researchers want to continue their work.

Like I said... (from activist) 09.Jul.2005 13:14

my reply to cynthia

...I guess we can agree to disagree. A lot of what's been said on here is a matter of opinion. I don't believe in using animals in research, and you do. But like someone else wrote on this page, there are ways for OHSU to prove how wonderfully these animals are being cared for, such as, cameras, one way glass, etc. There's a reason they haven't done that. And as long as they are hiding what's going on in their institution, activists like me will always feel like we have a reason to be concerned, as it is YOUR word against the entire history of primate research and every horrifying video that comes out every couple years. You're correct, times do change. But think about it, back in the year 2000 researchers were saying the same thing, and look at what atrocities Matt found while working there. OHSU says things have improved since Matt was there, but ONLY because he was there. I find it unacceptable that it takes something as extreme as an employee quitting and blowing the whistle in order to invoke change! The fact is - suffering is inevitable as long as apathetic people are in charge.

As far as electro-ejaculation being performed on paralyzed people, do you mean people who have no feeling below their waists...? And there's a difference - the monkeys find this so painful that they scream and lift their rear ends off the seat. I doubt any human is being put through that. And don't forget that it's forced on the monkeys whereas humans choose it, do you see the difference?

You are making it seem as if there are very few monkeys housed alone in cages at the ONRPC, but aren't approximately 700 out of the 4000 primates caged alone? Don't belittle the amount of suffering there. Those monkeys deserve to be recognized.

I'm not going to argue with you about the details of your research because obviously I don't know enough about them. I am not a scientist. What I do know is that I'm opposed to using animals for research, which is what you do.

If anyone reading this is opposed to the use of animals in research and can speak from a scientific perspective, have at it!

For anyone who wants to see the reality of CURRENT primate research, please see these links:

* website:  http://www.buav.org/covance/
free, downloadable video:  http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=covance
* website:  http://covancecruelty.com/ (video for this one on link)

NO! NO! NO! YES! 10.Jul.2005 09:47

Public Enemy #1 (Animal Rights Terrorist)

I too am an animal rights activist. Regardless of her motives, I appreciate Cynthia Bethea coming out to speak with the protesters. I appreciate her offer of the activists coming into her place of work (her lab). I appreciate the fact that she took the time to post her views on indymedia. Do I agree with her research and the pain and suffering it causes the monkeys inside OHSU? NO! Do I think she is going to wake up on Monday morning and realize how very wrong and cruel vivesection is? NO! Do I think these individuals will ever be allowed inside the primate research center? NO! Do I believe that OHSU is behind all of this and pulling the strings? YES! Yet, I still appreciate Cynthia Bethea's attempt to acknowledge the the animal rights demonstrators outside her home and those who use this site to air their beliefs.

Great Reading 10.Jul.2005 15:24

tuckett

Informative and beautiful on both sides. I especially liked the intent of this comment,

"And hey, if these animals are so very like us that vivisectors think they make great models for humans psychologically and physiologically, you're really going to have to answer to how it's ethical to use them in ways that we would consider shockingly barbaric and unethical if done to humans.

Those sensitive animals are as captive and tortured as jews were inside concentration camps. You, Cynthia, are their Mengele.'

----
And so, it is odd for me that scientists do not have a greater understanding of and appreciation for the higher intelligence, that same thing that Einstein repeatedly referred to, and most will call 'God'.

And so, unethical as what you do may be, it is (and I am not an animal rights activist) - - you must be God fearing enough, my love, to accept that one day you may wake in a cage and suffer the same atrocities as performed upon the likes of the primates in your prison. I hope this not to be, yet life scientifically suggests this in every way for those who choose to see.

With affection,
tuckett


P.S. 10.Jul.2005 15:26

same

and we do hope that the good doctor's sadism isn't that sick.

lastly 10.Jul.2005 15:37

same

How can you speak of Respect when you, a mother, pulls her 9 year old daughter out in front of noisy activists- a scene to which you know not what will occur - without regard for her well being, both physical and mental - at such a tender and delicate age...

unless you fear.

and so you too must believe that what you are doing is wrong, yet like George Bush, you still cannot admit it.


'Surely God has not changed the
condition of a people until they change their own condition.'
- The Koran (Sura 13, Verse 11)

... 10.Jul.2005 16:12

same

It also appears to me that you want to say, "You see! You are no better than me!"

And you can be assured that it is, by no means, a justification for what you do.

and I wonder,
if you made no money doing what you say you are dedicated to, would you still be doing it?


activists 10.Jul.2005 19:49

bring the war home

altho i'm not someone who would do home demonstratons altho i share in the feeling for this cause (i'm in a wheelchair that prevents mobility), as a casual witness, it looks like you are at a crossroads. you will not get a real tour of that primate facility, that much is crystalline clear. you are confronted with someone who is not about to have any real discussion, try to gather inner sight into what she does, nor even attempt to defend her junk research on scientific grounds in a peaceful "civil" setting such as debate with the doctor greek or with anyone/anywhere else. she has no ethical problems in the slightest with the misery she causes to caged up, feeling, intelligent animals. they are living beyond misery any of us will ever know, trapped in those cages, and then into a death which is a blessing for the fact that the torture is over. i am trapped in my body, but i experience joy, freedom, communion with others of my kind, and means to get the things i like and love, that those imprisoned animals cannot.

but. she does feel invaded, so she says, by these home demonstrations. what else would have gotten her to get her ass out of her lazyboy to even deal with this as superficially and defensively as she did? it looks like you folks figured out how to get her attention. like the weather underground said "bring the war home," and there confronted she could not avoid her bad deeds.

she goes home in peace everyday to a house she got with bloodmoney, in a car she got with bloodmoney. the monkeys paid for that with their sanity, freedom, and then thir lives.

so. what will you do to get this lady to stop harming, maiming, murdering these inocent beings? what will get her attention? what got her attention? what will make her stop?

to the person who wrote the comment above 11.Jul.2005 09:08

.....

beautifully stated. and you're right, no one reading this (whether for or against animal torture) will ever know how those monkeys feel. there was a comment made earlier about homeless people and how they're treated worse than the monkeys. though I agree that homeless people (and especially those with mental disorders) are treated like garbage - personally, I would rather be a homeless person than a monkey at the primate center because as a homeless person, I would at least have the freedom of choice to kill myself if the misery became too unbearable. the monkeys can't even do that. and if you've ever watched the videos that came out of the primate center you might notice the monkeys throwing themselves against the sides of the cages. maybe it's a pathetic attempt to commit suicide... ... ..

nice nalgene bottle 11.Jul.2005 09:37

123

look at the equipment that is used in this torture. look close. see anything familiar, hey- it's made by the same company that makes your pretty blue water bottle. you know which one i'm talking about! the one you got at rei, or some other outfitter. walk the walk if you are going to talk the talk,
nalgene is the primary supplier of animal titure devices in both the united states and europe, yet everywhere i go people in this movemnt use them....wake up.

Awesome Dialogue 11.Jul.2005 09:40

former OHSU employee

I find this discussion refreshing in that everyone has a chance to say whatever they want. And it's informative to me, in that Ms. Bethea doesn't seem to be able to defend herself, despite having adequate room to "finish a sentence" in this forum. For my part, I will side with the activists. Because as a former OHSU worker, I have some insight into what goes on there that the public does not have. Cynthia is being disingenuous when she says that the equipment in the posters is "outdated," and therefore "progress has been made." As one commenter later pointed out, the equipment may be newer now, but it's absolutely as draconian as ever. It's fundamental character has not changed. The equipment used is nothing one would ever see used on a human being outside of Abu Ghraib.

Further, again as a former OHSU employee, I can attest that the public will NEVER see what really happens in there unless they break down the very solid doors and breach the very extensive security systems that are in place to prevent just such an occurrence. As soon as a journalist or animal rights activist sets foot anywhere on the campus, doors slam shut and entire wings lock down tight. You wouldn't believe the security up there. All to keep you from ever really seeing what happens there.

I've seen it, though. I've seen the "surgical suites" where horrible and deadly experiments are performed. I've seen the tiny cages, the battered, abused, and psychotic primates. I've seen the carniage left after one of their "experiments." I've seen beautiful little bright-eyed baby monkies ripped from their mothers and shoved into lifelong isolation, or cut apart. I've seen the useless, futile experiments performed out of boredom, lack of imagination, and idle curiosity. I've seen people repeat and repeat and repeat ridiculous and meaningless "studies" in order to justify grant money, and I've never seen any really necessary and life-saving information come from any of this.

While the public is asked to continue to pay tax dollars to support this facility, they are never told the truth about what really happens there. They are lied to, and insultingly patronized with placating "tours" like the one Ms. Bethea mentions. "Tours" that are carefully managed and manipulated to stay far away from the surgical suites, the rows of tiny cages, the carniage. Yes, call their PR director and set up a tour. Then ask to go off the beaten path. See how quickly your "welcome" wears off. Ask a few questions. Ask to see proof that any of this has ever really been worth it. Trust me, all you will be given in reply is a snowjob about choosing human babies over rats. As if there ever was such a choice.

re: bring the war home 11.Jul.2005 09:42

tom

in-deed.

the ends aren't even worth it. 11.Jul.2005 13:04

tipping point

Cynthia says this about the objectives of her work:
I am a neuroscientist. My work is providing the biological underpinning for advancing the treatment and prevention of mental disorders. I hope that this person's grandchildren will be immunized against post-traumatic stress syndrome, schizophrenia, depression, autism and obsessive compulsive disorder along with the usual childhood illnesses
I have to say I'm ambivalent about the anti animal research movement, because I think there are ways to do humane research with animal subjects and that some research objectives make it worthwhile. However, now that I know this particular researcher's goal, I can't say that I'm in favor of her continuing. She wants to find a chemical way to prevent certain mental conditions, but many of these conditions are simply the result of living in a sick society. I would be very afraid if there were a vaccine against post-tramumatic stress syndrome - hello, Cynthia, people get that when they experience horrible horrible things, like war. People incapable of reacting to horrors, who would simply shake off the trauma of mass killing and go on with whatever they're doing (more killing?) - is that what we want? We should be working on getting rid of the causes, not "immunizing" people against the effects.

lions & tigers, oh my! GRRR.... 11.Jul.2005 17:02

gr@ce

"and they have various devices for entertainment including TV."

You have got to be kidding me, Cynthia. That's just creepy.
Monkeys don't need "entertainment", if they were just left alone, they could live normally -socializing (better than t.v.), finding food, and enjoying the sunshine. Oh wait, let me guess they get to watch their free counterparts on 'Animal Planet'?

Okay, maybe we need to think about pharmaceuticals, a sec. After hearing some comments about how sacrificing animals for expensive and harmful chemicals, I would like to talk about this. Ever thought that maybe people need counseling, natural remedies and a less polluted environment instead pills? Another thing- a lot of those "life saving" capsules have harmful side effects, are expensive and don't always address the real problem(s). Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that humans and other species have different BODIES? As in, they are physiologically different. There have been cases of people dying because they took medication that was passed as "safe" because it was tested on a different species, that species most likely didn't have any of the same goddammed symptoms. Which leads me to a quote:
"How fortunate we didn't have these animal tests in the 1940s, for penicillin would probably never been discovered" -Linus Pauling, PHD, two time Nobel Prize Winner

Testing on animals accomplishes nothing but pain and misery for animals and people. Oh yeah, Cynthia, animals sometimes get sick in the wild, it's true, that's natural. That's evolution or pollution. But using that as an excuse to cage an animal up for the rest of it's life is pretty weak. If your daughter caught a cold, would it be okay for someone to come into your home, take her, put her in a small sterile room and test on her? Would you feel better if they told you that she would be "less likely to catch cold" & that she has "3 square meals a day"? Oh, and she can watch Jerry Springer all day.

Primate moitoring 11.Jul.2005 17:14

easy solution

Scientists claim that primates involved in research projects react negatively to 'unfamiliar human visitation'; therefore no access to the research animals and the assumption/documentation of inhumane treatment. An easy soulution would be to set up video cameras in ALL labs and housing sites and make easy access to those site so the questioning public has the answers it seeks. The researchers would then have to answer to abuse and mistreatment.

Demonstrated need for more information 11.Jul.2005 17:22

Another ex-OHSU employee

I, too, worked at OHSU long enough to be very suspicious about any claims their PR department makes about animal welfare in their facilities, much less the "usefulness" of any of the "research" that has been done on animals up there. OHSU does abuse animals. It's just that simple. Anyone who claims they do not has either never been there, and is making unfounded assumptions, or else they are speaking from self-interested denial. Whatever your beliefs about using animals for research, the fact remains, OHSU abuses animals. And I will verify for a fact what "former OHSU employee" says about how the facilities go into a total panic and lock down the second any journalist, animal rights activist, or (I hasten to add) inspector steps on campus. No, you are not allowed to know what your tax dollars are buying up there, because it's pure hell.

As for the assertion that the research is helpful to humans, not hardly. I can't think of a single animal experiment up there that has done anything beneficial for anyone but the grant-funded researcher who performed it. And actually, the people who really perform the experiments are usually underlings who will tell you how sick they find the whole thing, and who generally don't stay long. During my tenure there, I watched all kinds of horrific experiments done allegedly to find out how addictive cocaine is, for example. Like we don't already know that? Like we couldn't use that money to treat addicted humans, rather than paying for another unwanted fix for a monkey or a rat? Please.

"--" makes an excellent point with regard to antibiotics. Mark's comment about activists taking antibiotics just shows how truly uninformed much of the public really is about this stuff. Indeed, the fact that penicillan was tested on animals probably cost human lives. Because the drug killed the guinea pigs injected with it, its use in humans was long delayed. That's an old example, but there is a very recent one that's equally relevant. A recent series of experiments involved both humans and animals. The focus was a treatment for Parkinson's disease, and the procedure was done on a handful of humans, all of whom appeared to show improvement. However, a separate series performed on rats showed lethal side effects, and the experiment was halted. The human subjects begged for a continuation of the therapy, but it was denied them. That was about 5 years ago. Recently, one of the original participants died of an unrelated heart attack, which gave researchers a chance to study the person's brain to see what effect the treatment had had. To their astonishment, they discovered that the treated segment of the brain had actually begun to repair itself. Had the research not been halted due to complications in animal subjects, people suffering from Parkinson's disease might have been well on the road to recovery by now. Only time will tell whether this treatment ever sees the light of day now, since the corporation sponsoring the research was frightened away due to liability fears. Look it up, Mark.

And just to add a couple more things. First, Mark, your use of the word "pussy" to connote something negative, specifically a lack of courage, demonstrates both sexism and lack of character on your part. (And by the way, why not post YOUR address? Oh. Because there are good reasons for maintaining privacy. I see.) Second, Beatrice McConnell, good to hear you're feeling well, and no, no one is saying that human health should be ignored. On the contrary, people are trying to say that human health is very important, and should be prioritized over meaningless but lucrative "research" in favor of more relevant models. And, human health may be a very big concern, but it is not the only concern. Yes, much can be learned from research. But not from animal research. There are a great many people working to end depression among elderly people who do not experiment on animals. Some of them probably helped you in your journey.

Third, Meagain and Mark, give it a rest. Yawwwn. Most of the people you're talking to do not trap mice, do not eat meat, and do not care for your uninformed assumption that they would. Trust me, they've heard those lines before, and they can generally answer them with a clean conscience.

And finally, "hmmm," No. I cannot agree with your assertion that home demos are "not cool." On the contrary, I think that considering what is at stake, this is a very valuable and creative tactic. Taking a message right to the door of someone who could make a difference is direct democracy to the core. It's demanding to be heard even when all the power and all the money tells you to be silent. It's rising above the tendency to sit quietly while the nazi's break down your neighbor's door, or the vivisectionists tear out your neighbor's heart. It's refusing to be silent, and so refusing to be complicit. So yes, this is Portland. This is what we do here. Democracy can be inconvenient and even messy, but it kicks ass.

Impressed 11.Jul.2005 18:10

Stella

I'm impressed by both ex-OHSU employees who posted their comments on here. I think their statements have a great deal of value considering they actually saw these things first hand. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences/opinions/etc.

Coffee - Tea Or 11.Jul.2005 18:14

Info

TO THE TWO EX-EMPLOYEES OF OHSU:
Is there any way you can provide us with additional information regarding what you saw - what you heard - what you know? You may have vital info that could help the local AR movement? Could/would you meet with us for coffee?

what I know about biological science 11.Jul.2005 20:00

OHSU employee

Where to begin...

This is a very important discussion, I hope Dr. Bethea is still reading. I also hope she can involve other researchers to stand up for what they do. Another thanks to the last ex-employee for removing the immaturity from the debate. Meagain - you are making scientists look bad. Some of us (researchers) are compassionate people, who are concerned about the animals we harm. And I think the discussion should stick to neuroscience - out of all the biological sciences, this field can be labeled the most wasteful. It would be a great step for AR if neuroscience was limited - I know most of you want to see all animal research disappear.

What I know about science:
-Junk science arises from basic scientific curiosity - which is definitely the motivation of many, many (NOT ALL!!!) researchers. If anything, these folks have a mild affection for bettering society and relieving suffering. They are nice people, they just found something that intersts them, and the can make a living out of it -->

-Researchers must be held accountable for their research/actions. Even though neuroscience is an establisted institution, it cannot be an excuse to participate simply because it's there and it can provide. (Or because it is fun).

-Junk science is propelled by pressure from NIH/NSF, as well as the employer, to "publish or perish". I think that Dr. Bethea would agree that this enormous pressure to maintain one's research leads to unthoughtful experimentation. I mean, basic researchers looking for any effect/finding they can in order to publish a paper. This is a disasterous waste of tax money and life. I admit it is fascinating what can be discovered, but probably not worth it.

A solution to this would be to relieve the pressure (which is largely the product of money and reputation) and allow researchers more time to coordinate, think, and experiment more efficiently.

-I will second that there is animal abuse in research. I have seen shortcuts taken that skip the animal welfare protocols. This is usually for the convienience of the researcher. There is definitely a scramble when inspectors come by. !!And to mention - inspectors many times don't even come by (this year in my dept.)!!
Again, if researchers had more time, they would follow the rules much more.

-To Beatrice McConnell: Mrs. McConnell, aside from you cataract problem, do you think that your emotional trouble could be relieved with human contact? I am not implying that you are lonely (obviously I dont know), but it is my opinion that much depression and anxiety can be relieved with the presence of friendly people? This is very important, because perhaps we would not need to distribute as many anti-depressants/research anti-depressants, and could put more tax money into the programs that provide companionship.

-Dr. Bethea: Do you think we can truly understand the human brain?? I have been studying neuroscience, and the comprehension that some researchers strive for, seems out of grasp. I am starting to think that we cannot EFFICIENTLY study the brain. Animal models are offbase - we find differences between mice and rats. Laboratory settings are too artifical - what animal lives in 12hrs light, 12hrs dark at constant temperature all year round?
I think with much time and money (technology) we could figure it out, but I don't know if it's worth it.
**I do have symapthy for you, you are not the only one doing this kind of research. But like I said above, we have to be responsible.

Okay, i have more, but theres enough here for now. I am urging Dr. Bethea, or any other neuroscientist to reply to these points, as well as to other valid issues presented prior. I know the silly bickering turns you off from wanting to participate, but please remember:
THE PUBLIC PAYS OUR SALARY, THEY DESERVE A WORLD OF TIME TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE DO.

I am sweating here, I would lose my job, and probably propects for a scientific career if my boss or department found out what I have said. It would be too bad if I couldn't freely speak my mind. Please dont try to hunt me down (researchers).

rebuttal 11.Jul.2005 20:11

to cynthia

I am going to try and reply to some of the mis-statements made by this activist.
First, I respect that this person has deeply held convictions which are different from mine. My convictions are as deep and mutual respect would be appreciated.


Convictions have little to do with this really. How about looking at evidence instead? The evidence overwhelmingly shows that animals are not good models for humans. Cancer research on mice, has led to curing cancer in mice, but not in humans. Human health would be served by STOPPING animal based research.



1. Me and my fellow researchers have tried to defend our research. I will continue to defend my research, but it would be nice if I could actually finish a sentence. I cannot provide the background to research in biological psychiatry in a 30 second sound bite.


It is not a matter of you defending your research with people on the street, or in this forum. You and other researchers need to defend your research in a scientific forum where the outcome of that discourse had the capacity to change outdated and wasteful methods using animal models.


2. No, I do not understand the display of outdated posters for the sake of memory. TImes change, progress is made, the care of NHP has drastically improved.



I am doubtful of that claim, but ultimately, it is meaningless how the primates are treated if the research itself is of negative value to humans. In that case, you are not only harming monkeys, but also people.


3-8 deleted as they all are trying to justify that monkeys are better off in captivity. Simply ask the researcher if she would like to be held in captivity and used without her say. She and every other researcher will obviously say no. But then they will tell you that monkeys are good for modeling human behavior and mental processes. Right now Cynthia, you have your cake and eat it to only because of the vast power of the industry. You could never win in the court of truth.




9. The activist is correct in that I am not a virologist or a cancer researcher. I am a neuroscientist. My work is providing the biological underpinning for advancing the treatment and prevention of mental disorders. I hope that this person's grandchildren will be immunized against post-traumatic stress syndrome, schizophrenia, depression, autism and obsessive compulsive disorder along with the usual childhood illnesses. The wheels of discovery and application development move slowly and I cannot help that, unfortunately.


Here you are blind to the nature of the afflictions you mention. You cannot be immunized against life. Life has trauma. A healthy, well developed individual can meet life in a balanced manner. We know that people should not be smoking, eating tons of junk food, excessive sugar, etc. We know that children have certain needs of affection, nutrition, etc. Cancer is increasing. Why? Because we are subjecting ourselves to more and more chemical and electromagnetic toxin. Why are more people depressed? We are creating a world more and more run by giant faceless organizations, cutting ourselves off from community, healthy interactions with nature and natural forces, faster paced, more stress, fearful of job and health security.

No, the pressing need of our times is not an immunization, but a healthy society that is in balance with itself, and with the other life forms and the broader ecosystem. Ironically, the very fact of a high security primate lab's existence, shows how far astray animal researchers are from the people they say they want to help.




11. The reason that I said NO debate is because they are useless. These issues have been debated ad nauseum and its a waste of time. Nothing is solved. Everybody is frustrated. It is time to recognize that we are not going to change the other's mind and that large numbers of people in the world support biomedical research with animals. It is time to stop the shouting and look for a common value from which a process can evolve.
Sincerely,
Cynthia L. Bethea, Ph.D.
ONPRC


OHSU has NEVER engaged in a debate on this issue with opposing scientists. OHSU absolutely refuses debate, because it knows it would lose. Animal models are a dead end. The days of animal based research are numbered. It is only a matter of how long the vested interests of institutions like OHSU and researchers like Cynthia Bethea can delay the inevitable.

Cynthia, if you are still reading this: 12.Jul.2005 11:25

out of curiosity

Regarding this statement you made above:
"How about a treaty? What would it take to stop the hostility and work toward a goal that we can all agree has value? Is there one teeny tiny line that we can agree on??"

Just curious - what would you consider a treaty to be in this case? Forget allowing the activists in to see your monkeys because we all know that isn't going to happen. Please let us know what you are willing to do in order to reach a compromise?

Lost track 12.Jul.2005 15:26

Cynthia Bethea, Ph.D.

The following comments are solely the opinions of Dr. Bethea and do not represent the policies of OHSU.

I appreciate that you are using this forum to express your opinions rather than shouting through bullhorns in front of my house. I specifically request that you do not come to my house again.

I would like to clarify a statement that seems to have provoked all kinds of mis-interpretation. When I said that I hope our great grandchildren might be "immunized" against mental illness, I was expressing what seems to be laudable dream, that is the elimination of mental illness. Much to my surprise my comment was totally twisted around to suggest development of a treatment that would enable war. Wow, that blew me away. When I wrote that statement, I was thinking of the people who survived the tsunami and the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. I though it would be wonderful if we had better treatments that could help them deal with the stress of that terrible event. I was also thinking about new data indicating that a significant number of mental illnesses may have a genetic component and how wonderful it would be if we could determine that a child had a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, for example, and if we could prevent the onset of that terrible affliction. So, the idea was not to immunize people so they could go out and commit atrocities. It was to provide help to victims. I honestly cannot fathom the mind that projected such a dismal concept from a noble hope.

It appears that Indymedia is pulling many of the comments that have been supportive of me (I've counted at least 26 deletions so far) and so I am unwilling to continue this exchange due to the bias of the site.

Oh, 12.Jul.2005 15:54

x

she's still reading this, as is OHSU.

Will any researcher take In Defense of Animals up on the offer to have a public dialogue about their research with Ray Greek, MD? The very "civil discourse" Cynthia claimed to want?

Nope. (Cynthia would prefer instead to lie about having debated before in some parallel universe).

Is she going to offer any sort of "compromise?"

Nope. (The compromise she wants is that AR activists go off and find some other cause).

Here's the challenge, OHSU and Cynthia: For once, have a public dialogue. Put video cameras in all the monkey rooms (I'm sure IDA, PETA, or any other national animal protection group would literally be thrilled to pay for this, if you plan on using money as an excuse; and that kind of blows your excuses that the only problems with transparency are TB infection, or the monkeys being afraid of humans, Cynthia). Prove us wrong that this research is valuable and monkeys are not abused. At least enter the dialogue.

Will they do it? Nope. (They won't even do what the law requires them to do for transparency, which is to release public records under FOIA in a reasonable manner).

done?? 12.Jul.2005 16:16

-

Is this discussion over?? I was going to try to recruit neuroscientists to defend their research...

Regarding comments made by "x" 12.Jul.2005 19:37

activist (yes, me again)

I *guarantee* that neither Cynthia nor OHSU will respond with anything meaningful regarding the cameras or one way glass in monkey rooms. If the monkeys are well cared for and the finances can be arranged, what excuse could they possibly come up with? It seems like Cynthia only comes on here and responds when it's convenient, as many of my questions remain unanswered.

Regarding those pro-animal research comments you claim are being taken off - I think those are just being moved into the "discussion" section. You just have to click on the "discussion" link at the bottom of the page to see them. Frankly, I figured they were put in that section because many of them sounded pretty idiotic.

please stay, Dr. Bethea/OHSU 12.Jul.2005 19:50

training neuroscientist/OHSU employee

Dr. Bethea,
I was hoping you'd respond to the points I made about neuroscience/biological research. Perhaps I wrote too much. This is simple: Do you think that we should resove our problems with pharmaceuticals? Wouldn't a nicer treatment for tsunami victims be a helping hand in rebuilding their home, getting them back working, and comforting them?? Isn't this better than giving them a drug which they will become dependent on, which decreases the amount of money they have?? Don't you think Beatrice McConnell and other depressed people are better off with comforting support rather than addictive anti-deppressants?

The sad fact about mental pharmaceuticals is that people become dependent on them (my coworker is depressed without Adherall (sp?)). And, they get into the wrong hands. Ritalin is sold in schools, and is also and easy answer for those who want to get "normal" kids to pay attention. Adherall is widely distributed throughout colleges for study purposes - students are not using their true potential. Anti-depressants are everywhere also, along with many other categories of drugs.
So, what would you say about the development of a memory-improving drug. Do you think the majority of people who get their hands on it really need it?? Don't you think we are creating the memory deficiency problem by introducing the treatment??

I hope you can understand where I'm coming from - I love neuroscience research, and I see a huge problem with it. Please respond.

INDYMEDIA: PLEASE DO NOT DELETE RESPONSES!!! I DON'T KNOW IF WHAT DR. BETHEA SAID IS BULL, BUT I'D HATE TO LABEL THIS GREAT INDEPENDENT INFORMATION SOURCE 'FASCIST'. THANKS.

A Heads Up 12.Jul.2005 20:08

Me

Cindy,I seriously doubt that indymedia deleted 26 posts that were favoring you and your side. Hey indy can you confirm or deny that one? I have noticed some postings were removed that were either very mean-spirited or the author was completely debased. More likely I think your persecution complex is showing.
"I specifically request that you do not come to my home again." Sorry Cindy but we cannot offer any guarantees. It appears that everything that was put out on the table for the protesters has been removed. We have gained nothing and as is typical when dealing with the likes of OHSU and their faculty they think they are holding the winning hand. Unlike the city of Portland and the politicians that run it we are not in your hip pocket. You do not own us. We are free agents who cannot be bought, intimidated or coerced by the likes of OHSU. So my guess is you WILL be seeing us again in the very near future.

Response 12.Jul.2005 20:25

Get Real

Cynthia,

I believe you mean well in your thoughts. However, the obvious needs of many people are not fancy genetic cures, but good basic care. Many many thousands of women do not even have the most basic prenatal care during pregnancy. Many many children do not have enough food/adequate nutrition. How many millions of people have no health care at all?

Our money is better spent on basic needs, rather than exotic research. There needs to be a more objective look at these issues, but they are controlled and driven by industry interests. OHSU will not look at this because OHSU has to keep the dollars coming in, and along with researchers, will justify all sorts of projects based on dollar inflow.

We know enough right now to immprove the lives of the vast majority of people. Your dreams of exotic genetic cures ignores the truth of the forces that impact the lives of the vast majority of humanity. It is in this way that you lie. You lie to yourself.

to OHSU 12.Jul.2005 20:48

Jason

Animal Based testing and research is almost useless for helping human health. Neither Cynthia, nor OHSU will ever touch this basic point. Better to focus on some reactionary post to ridicule rather than address core issues.

At the recent Oregon Opportunity Task force hearing, Dr. Greek and Dr. Ceigelski gave thoughtful, informed, and scientifically cited testimony about why animal research is not useful for human health.

OHSU responded by making generalized emotional appeals "What about the children?" They insultingly used a slide of a girl in a wheelchair with a quote "When they are done saving the whales, maybe they will save the humans"

OHSU likes to say that animal rights activists are unscientific and emotional, yet it is just the opposite. All OHSU had was an emotional appeal in the face of serious scientific inquiry.

As an institution, OHSU does not care about people. They are more interested in money, and the prestige of a hopeful developer of high-tech cures. Meanwhile, while they are taking hundreds of millions of dollars of Oregon taxpayer money, social service agencies for children, youth, elderly and families are shrinking and closing and health care costs are soaring.

And the appalling arrogance of OHSU to demand public money, but refuse any public accountability let alone debate. Any request for public information is met with a no, and one needs to use FOIA and then the courts to obtain what OHSU is legally oblige to provide. OHSU has their own police force, high security and is walled off from the public. Sitting high and mighty on the hill, they want to present an image of a caring institution, but that image is not the truth. Researchers live in their own bubbles, and when it gets right down to it, will not engage in serious debate either because to do so would be to risk their own livelihood. Figures Cynthia would come up with some excuse to stop posting.

Animal based research is a failed methodology. It cannot stand the light of open scientific inquiry.

Waah, snivel, snivel, boo hoo hoo... 12.Jul.2005 21:35

irony

Cynthia has come up with yet a brand new reason to ignore reasonable dialogue, while continuing to rake in the money from her abusive activities...

"It appears that Indymedia is pulling many of the comments that have been supportive of me (I've counted at least 26 deletions so far) and so I am unwilling to continue this exchange due to the bias of the site."

I've been reading this thread from the beginning, and I have seen nothing of the kind. No answer to "x", about the "civil dialogue" she claims to want (with an MD doctor in a very controlled and civil setting, no less) or the transparency of cameras in monkey rooms, or even doctor Greek visiting each animal, or one-way glass or...or...or... Cyndi is MIA. Imagine if she had to live with any real stress, like living her life in a barren cage, separated from all other beings of her kind, having tubes stuck down her throat...oh wait, that's what she does to the monkeys. In fact, her reasearch is actually ABOUT stressing out the monkeys. How ironic.

She also ignored the question from "out of curiosity" about the treaties and compromises and such that she was pretending to be prepared to make. From the beginning, Cyndi has been trying to find any way that she could point to any activist behaving badly in her mind, so she could ignore the whole thing, while pretending to be so very reasonable (as if someone who tortures animals for a living is reasonable).

I don't know who these activists are, but it sounds like someone has earned some more home visits!

Deceit and Corruption 13.Jul.2005 09:49

Reader

It appears that OHSU and Cynthia Bethea have dug a hole so deep that there is no way to escape. This is just another example of what OHSU is all about once you peel away their glistening facade. I hope the animal rights community and concerned citizens will expose them for the frauds they really are.

Ah, Cynthia 13.Jul.2005 10:11

civil request

Ah, Cynthia. I would like to thank you for your civil tone, as well as for reading this discussion and posting.

And I specifically request that you stop inflicting pain on animals and confining them to barren cages. Thanks!

Laughable 13.Jul.2005 15:15

Foolish American

This is in regards to Dr. Bethea's comment to the ACtivist and has probably been addressed already but..whatever.

TV!!!! Are you serious? You have NHP's watching TV and you think that's a positive? You have taken a naturally wild animal and removed it from its natural environment and ecosystem and you think that is a good thing. So what if it gets astounding a roof over its head, a cagemate, and (dare I say) astounding healthcare... The system that you have put these animals into is unnatural and contrived. It's the Disneyland-ification of research. In essence your research is not real because it isolates subjects from their natural environment and it should be discarded as the relic and dinosaur that it is.

If you want to see how NHP's really are I suggest you get out of the lab coat and into a pair of shorts. Do some wacking with a machete and take the time to see how NHP's behave in the real world. In short, I question the legitimacy of your methods.

To the neuroscientist in training/OHSU employee 13.Jul.2005 15:42

another OSHU neuroscientist in training

It would be an ideal world in which we could help those suffering from trauma by rebuiling their homes, holding their hands, getting them back to work, and comforting them. I respect your ideology, truly I do. But you have obviously not intimately known anyone with PTSD or experienced trauma yourself.

I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Another term one might use would be incest. Childhood trauma sets up behavioral patterns and survival skills that can be very detrimental and maladaptive when used by that person later in life. I lived for 15 more years using the survival skills I had learned when I was a 5 years old. It caused severe dysfuction in my relations with men. After hitting rock bottom, being raped, and having suicidal thoughts, I finally decided to make attempts to heal from my childhood abuse. I entered therapy. I was EXTREMELY fortunate to find a wonderful therapist who had many years of experience treating survivors of childhood incest. I thank God that I found her. Since dealing with and healing from the past would involve retrieving horrific memories I had buried very deep, my therapist warned me that my depression would most likely worsen in the initial parts of therapy. She warned me that my perspective on life would most likely get darker before it got brighter. She recommended that I use an antidepressant for a few months while we started the therapy, to alleviate my suffering in the dark abyss of depression and to prevent me from actually attempting to bring my suicidal thoughts to fruition.

Now, I am not lauding antidepressants. Everybody's brain chemistry is different and finding the correct antidepressant that actually helps you instead of making you sleep or eat (or whatever, you can insert many annoying side effects here)is a laborious process. I can attest to that. But, after months of trying different antidepressants, I found one. I found an antidepressant that helped alleviate my suicidal thoughts while I was retrieving ugly, nasty memories of abuse that were harbored in my brain and in my body. I don't take antidepressants anymore. I don't need them now. But I say with confidence that as I began to embark on a journey to heal myself with 5 years of individual and group therapy, several years of spiritual healing in a meditation group, and many other healthy healing lifestyle changes, that using antidepressants for those first couple of years SAVED MY LIFE.

Again, to the OHSU employee, I respect your idealism. And I do think that comfort, talking, support groups, love, etc. are helpful for survivors of trauma. They were certainly helpful for me. But often, trauma survivors need more help than just talking. (When I say trauma, I mean real trauma, not getting beaten up on the playground or walking in on your parents having sex. I do not use the word trauma loosely because I know what trauma really is, as do survivors of war or parental abuse.) My therapist explained it well for the layman by saying that the antidepressants would provide a much needed chemical "jumpstart" for me and that therapy and support groups would help to reinforce the new circuits and new ways of "healthy" thinking that would help me to become a healthy person. As a neuroscientist in training, you must know about and believe in the plasticity of the brain. You can change your brain. You can change your way of thinking. But some people need behavioral modifications AND medication to get there.

OK, I have tons more I could write but I need to get back to work. Happy reading.

Oh, one more thing. Because I do believe good sciece saves human lives, I see the use of animals in research as a necessary evil. My goal in science is to not be wasteful, to treat every animal with respect and as a life. I love animals and I do say a prayer for each life that is sacrificed. I wish EVERY scientist made every possible effort to collaborate (which would lead to less animals being sacrificed for research) and to treat animal life with the utmost care and respect. BUT THERE ARE GOOD SCIENTISTS AND THERE ARE ASSHOLE SCIENTISTS JUST LIKE THERE ARE GOOD ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVITST AND ASSHOLE ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS (see the posting by oh,give me a break, who severely attenuates whatever argument he/she had by resorting to personal insults of C. Bethea's appearance as he/she harrassed Dr. Bethea at Dr. Bethea's own home!)

it's interesting that 13.Jul.2005 16:44

.

you start off your sob story, "another OHSU neuroscientist," with an experience of being made completely powerless, and then talking about that being the thing that imposes this deep depression on you.

Because that's exactly what you propose to do to these innocent animals (put them completely at the mercy of techs and researchers - and yes, they are raped, literally, in that institution and forced to have babies), so that more egocentric, speciesist humans such as yourself can be free to live their dreams of "sacrificing" other animals.

Really, watch the videos that were provided on the links above. If you can live with promoting such cruel and unethical crap, then you need far more therapy than you've gotten. If you think there's a humane way to rip a baby away from it's mother at birth, throw it in a barren cage alone, and experiment on it until you kill it (just like what Martha Neuringer does at OHSU), then what the hell is wrong with you?

I'm tired of people whining for their own cures, while inflicting such torture on creatures far more innocent, vulnerable, and hurt than themselves.

My thoughts 13.Jul.2005 16:58

Concerned Citizen

<<<<Oh, one more thing. Because I do believe good sciece saves human lives, I see the use of animals in research as a necessary evil. My goal in science is to not be wasteful, to treat every animal with respect and as a life. I love animals and I do say a prayer for each life that is sacrificed. I wish EVERY scientist made every possible effort to collaborate (which would lead to less animals being sacrificed for research) and to treat animal life with the utmost care and respect. BUT THERE ARE GOOD SCIENTISTS AND THERE ARE ASSHOLE SCIENTISTS JUST LIKE THERE ARE GOOD ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVITST AND ASSHOLE ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS (see the posting by oh,give me a break, who severely attenuates whatever argument he/she had by resorting to personal insults of C. Bethea's appearance as he/she harrassed Dr. Bethea at Dr. Bethea's own home!)>>>>

What you call a good scientist, or an asshole scientist has nothing to do with whether the animal model is useful to human health. The personality traits of the scientist are irrelevent to methodolgy. Perhaps you do not see how you obfuscate the important discussion.

Good science does save human lives. Reliance on the animal model is demonstrably NOT good science. There is a decided lack of evidence to support your claim that it is good science. There is a vast amount of evidence that indicates that not only is the animal model not useful for human health, it is a detriment.

It is detrimental because it leads to false data which has killed countless people.

Tobacco companies used the fact they were not able to induce cancer in animals to claim that smoking did not cause cancer in humans. That in the face of obvious empirical evidence that it does indeed cause cancer in humans.

How about Thalidomide? Vioxx? etc? It is a long list. Tests safe on some animals, harms humans.

The animal model has failed spectacularly for cancer and AIDS

Come on researchers, address these points!

Eliot Spindel is still testing nicotine on infant monkeys as if we do not clearly know it's negative effect. Our tax dollars are going to this absurd waste while an acclaimed and successful Oregon tobacco cessation program had its budget drastically cut. This is indefensible. Common sense clearly dictates where that money should go, but it is not common sense, or good science that decides these things, it is vested interest and greed.

OHSU cannot demonstrate any significant result for human health from the millions and millions of taxpayer dollars they use on animal research.

How about we examine the work of Judy Cameron. Studying baby monkeys to find out if infants who receive greater social support are better off than infants who receive less social support. DUH! Everyone knows this is true. It is long since clinically proven, and thousands of years of human experience make it so obvious that this study is laughable - - -other than the fact that kids are out on the streets dying while morally reprehensible studies like these are wasting our money which could help them. And you wonder why people get angry when they have no say how their money is used???

Good science is NOT dictating the use of money and resources. If it was, animal research would be shrinking drastically. In fact, animal research is increasing yearly, in the face of an ever increasing body of evidence that the animal model is a failure.

It is the self interest of researchers like Cynthia Bethea, Judy Cameron and institutions like OHSU, and all the businesses supporting their research that keep it going. It is money and greed, not good science, that keep animal research going.

Sad Animals 13.Jul.2005 17:17

--

Even IF I agreed that animal testing was important, I could not say that these animals are treated with respect. Have you seen Matt's video? Just the handling of the primates is alarming.

My understanding is that most testing is done by technicians, not the researcher. So whether the reasearcher is "good" or "asshole" seems to make little difference. This is a system which these researchers accept, arguing themselves out of seeing the animals' misery. Why are the so afraid of their handlers? Could it be because they do not receive love and compassion? Can you imagine living a life where those you depend on for your well bleing give you cause to fear them horribly? Hmmm. Sounds a lot like the experience of child abuse to me. It's a strange and unfortunate pattern that victims are often willing to victimize others.

Dr. Cindy Bethea 13.Jul.2005 18:15

Roberta Stancill

Have any of you activists ever thought for one moment how the
polio vaccine came into being? Do you think Dr. Salk just snapped
his fingers & there it was???!!! RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!!!
I had polio & it left me with a spinal curvature that could be
straighted only about 80%.
If you only knew what 'monkeys' you are making of yourselves with
all this hoopla!!!RS

attempting to be brief 13.Jul.2005 21:01

tt01

this dialogue, if you want to call it that, is indeed amazing. indymedia is an incredible tool. but it is also an organization. and YES they do delete posts that they may disagree with. "worker bees" are especially susceptible to deleting comments that make mentions of "deleting comments."

that being said, i must agree with the majority here - there really is no defense for scientific research of animals. perhaps the argument can be made, and i am willing to listen and i do appreciate the doctor engaging in conversation here. (and i hope she continues to do so, and i hope reasonable comments in her defense, like Keith's will not be deleted). but from what i have read and studied, animal research is merely the most convenient means of medical research, not necessairly the most productive, or even efficient.

to the good doctor (if she is still reading):
your incomprehension of the sentiments of those who took special issue with #9 about your professed dream of "immunization" against the list of aliments specifically stated as "post-traumatic stress syndrome, schizophrenia, depression, autism and obsessive compulsive disorder along with the usual childhood illnesses" says a lot. while this may appear as a laudable goal when phrased surrounding the recent tsunami, you simply DO NOT GET IT.

i fear my government. therefore i am a dissident. it is something you may never understand. perhaps if i phrase it this way: the road to hell is paved with good intentions, you will see where i am coming from?

technology and science are a gift made possible only by our self aware consciousness. it is tremendously important that we learn to apply science in an ethical manner. it is tantamount to our survival as a species.

so i ask the doctor: is animal research necessary for us to survive as a species?

thank you for commenting Ms. Bethea, and i do hope your support of legislation aimed at making these kinds of demonstrations illegal, or further defining AR activists as terrorists, or whatever other Draconian method you deem necessary to secure your piece of mind, your property and YOUR liberty, fails miserably. but i fear you have a easy ear with that menace Minnis.

reply to: it's interesting that... 13.Jul.2005 23:04

compassionate individual

OK, first, since you so sarcastically called my story a "sob story," that shows you have no compassion for it. Why should anyone on this forum listen to what you have to say if you admittedly have no compassion for human suffering?

Secondly, I have never never tortured an animal. I've never killed an animal. I study moth eggs. Only a true sadist would have "dreams of sacrificing animals." That's really sick. Your diatribe accuses me of a lot of things I've never done, supported, or even been associated with.

But you don't care, do you? You just have this aggression you want to get out so you're verbally attacking me as if I stand for all that is wrong with the world.

I think that you, someone who has no compassion for a human who's been abused by family and raped, are what is wrong with the world.

lot's of talking, little dialogue 13.Jul.2005 23:42

a concerned scientist

So far no one has offered any evidence that the experiments being conducted at OHSU are a benefit or a worthwhile expenditure of resources.

Cynthia Bethea has refused to defend her position or note the value of her research. As a scientist I'm concerned that she would make assumptions and jump to conclusions (since it looks like the posts she referred to, name calling, off topic, etc, were simply moved to another page to help facilitate a more direct dialogue). Good scientists get the facts, and defend their positions even in the face of criticism and lack of support.

So far numerous solutions have been proposed, which I always find heartening. Instead of endless discussion people have proposed workable solutions and yet I see no initiative to move forward with them. Visibility and transparency go a long way toward accountability. I like the proposal to have cameras. If what Cynthia Bethea says is true, and conditions have improved then OHSU should take action to show their improvements to the world. If done properly it could be a step forward for scientists everywhere. Discussion could continue about whether animal experimentation is useful, or whether other models are better, but at least some immediate concerns about animal treatment could be dealt with.

If OHSU has nothing to hide then they should choose not to hide.

To self-proclaimed "compassionate individual" - 14.Jul.2005 00:33

+

that's correct that I have little feeling for a free and empowered individual who asks for sympathy and understanding for their own history of victimization, yet supports even worse torture for other beings. I don't consider you compassionate at all. I also don't expect that you will see in yourself the points being addressed to you, because...

I notice that you aren't answering either to the person who said what I said, in a more tactful way. I notice that you have the "Cynthia Bethea syndrome" in each of your posts, in which you find some instance of what you consider an activist behaving badly, so that you can dismiss the whole issue of the torture caused to these animals, and your support of it. If I weren't here for you to point to as someone who outrages you, you'd find some other person to point to, as a way to say, "see, even though I support vivisection, I'm better than you! I'm more compassionate!" It's like the people who (incorrectly) say that Hitler was a vegetarian, as a way to excuse their own meat-eating and treatment of animals used for food. If someone who you can say is "bad" supports X, then X can't be noble, and you can brush away your own complicity with evil.

I notice that the pro-vivisectors are more interested in the personalities of activists and researchers than they are in the actual issues. Good way to avoid actually dealing with the deep ethical challenges of your position. Personalities don't matter to me, nor does hand-wringing about our life-fulfillment issues - what matters to me is that there are sensitive creatures being literally tortured to death at the primate center - and it must stop. Watch some movies if you dare, and see what you support.

abuser and abused - one mindset, many forms 14.Jul.2005 00:33

compassion for all

"compassionate individual" you should not let those comments rattle you. It is important to note that the same mentality is in operation wherever abuse exists and that's what is being pointed out. As soon as one can justify the abuse of another one will abuse the other, whether the other is a child, a woman, an animal. Once upon a time people in this country who believed that since black people weren't like them it was ok to keep them in slavery, to use them for whatever purposes were deemed "beneficial" to their owners/captors. The same mindset exists today in the minds of those who enslave animals. It is only when we eliminate this mindset will compassion flourish in our communities. At that point we will look back in disgust at the defense of such barbaric practices such as electro-ejaculation.

Just remember that everyone has the capacity to find compassion. In particular, those that perpetuate abuse on others often become the most outspoken critics of that abuse once they have reflected on reality of their actions; many a soldier has returned from war to denounce the institution of war. I sincerely wish for all people in our community to find this compassion and use it to better themselves and others and be the agents of the larger change around us. I realize that some people will not give up their long held beliefs until after the society has shifted but I suspect that they will be few in number.

Of course, all of these things would be better to discuss in person, not over the internet.

the truth 14.Jul.2005 01:06

will be revealed

OHSU will not respond to serious discussion. If you request public documents, they deny the request and only after lengthy court hearings will they be forced to give the information they are required to by law.

They feel they are above the law, they keep their own police force.

Go stand outside OHSU and hold a banner and politely talk to people. You will be followed, your license plate recorded, photos of you will be taken. When you drive away, security cars will follow you.

A call was made to OHSU to ask who the public representative on the IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) is. They were told to FOIA it. This is the person who is supposed to be representing the public and OHSU would not even say who that person is.

OHSU has never admitted any bad treatment of animals even when Matt Rossell was there, even though his videos show horrible things. There is nothing like an openness, or honesty coming from OHSU.

Researchers will turn a blind eye to all these things, because they want to keep their nice job and live in dreams of helping people with fancy cures. Meanwhile OHSU manages to swindle 200 million dollars out of the pockets of Oregon taxpayers AFTER VOTERS VOTED DOWN 10 million. That money was from the Oregon tobacco settlement. At the same time as OHSU was using backdoor legislative deals to get that money, the local tobacco quit line, which is a successful program, was cut, then re-instated at a fraction of it's previous budget.

OHSU is only concerned about its own survival, growth, and prestige, not what is good for the people of Oregon. Maybe some researchers will read this thread, and at least in their own minds, admit the truth.

To put this in perspective (which you will 14.Jul.2005 01:17

+

more than likely refuse to understand, and be further enraged by, self-proclaimed "compassionate individual"):

You are like a German in Nazi Germany who supports experiments done on Jews in concentration camps because you think you might be helped by them. And you call the people who are trying to get those tortured Jews released "uncompassionate" because they don't have unending sympathy for your problems, and choose instead to focus their energies on those who are currently being held captive and literally tortured, with your support. You have limitless sympathy for your own pain and those who look like you, and no perspective on the inarguably more dire situation of those whose captivity and inevitable murder you support. So, no, I'm not so sympathetic to the plight of the free who endorse the pain of the deeply oppressed. Which is not to say I haven't been victimized in my own life - but I have perspective about it - what is happening to those intelligent and sensitive animals is far worse than you and I will ever experience - and I don't wear it like a badge in order to get sympathy.

I am not a tactful person, so those who can't handle that quality would be best to engage the arguments of someone else - there are so many here who are far more tactful than I am, but who share very similar beliefs and make similar arguments - or read past the style into the content - unless one is just looking for a reason to avoid the issues.

Why debate? 14.Jul.2005 10:37

room with a view

I do not understand how this issue can be solved by scientific debate. It belongs to ethics and philosophy. Here is an oversimplified example. Suppose that there are activists opposed to research in high-energy physics and they protest the building of a new cyclotron because 'it is a waste of tax payer dollars that should be spent on the homeless and moreover, research in physics led to the development of the atom bomb'. So, they invite two physicists to debate the merits of their work. These scientists proceed to pull out their blackboards and for 2 hours they write differential equations and argue quantum mechanics versus general relativity theory. How does this address the question of whether tax payer dollars are being spent appropriately? It does not. And it seems (to me) that this parallels the AR arguments about debating scientific merits of biomedical research with animals.

I believe that a scientific argument on the pros and cons of using animals in biomedical research is a waste of time, because at the end of the day, there will be evidence presented on both sides with no judge of their validity. Then, an AR cell will state that it is still opposed to using animals on ethical grounds and the scientific community will state the opposite. So, skip the science debate and put it to ethicists.

The 2 ethical positions are as follows:

A. It is unethical NOT to use our skills, knowledge and resources, including animals, to solve problems of human pathology.
B. It is unethical to use animals to solve problems of human pathology.

The person who subscribes to "A" would insist on the humane treatment of animals, of course.
The person who believes "B" is not going to be swayed by videos or any kind of oversight.
The person who subscribes to "A" may be reassured of the humane treatment of animals by oversight, but what about the "B" people ??

Will they still be ranting and raving? Is this progress?

I think dana came to a similar conclusion. Where are legitimate, scholarly ethicists on this issue?

Debate with teeth 14.Jul.2005 12:31

Concerned Citizen

I do not understand how this issue can be solved by scientific debate. It belongs to ethics and philosophy.


Reply:

There are two issues. One is the philosophical issue of whether it is right to harm animals for human benefit. That is the issue you are focused on. What you seem unwilling or unable to comprehend or address, is the second issue which is the one to be debated. Is human benefit or human harm coming from harming animals? If you are harming humans, then you never even arrive at the philosophical question.

*********

Here is an oversimplified example. Suppose that there are activists opposed to research in high-energy physics and they protest the building of a new cyclotron because 'it is a waste of tax payer dollars that should be spent on the homeless and moreover, research in physics led to the development of the atom bomb'. So, they invite two physicists to debate the merits of their work. These scientists proceed to pull out their blackboards and for 2 hours they write differential equations and argue quantum mechanics versus general relativity theory. How does this address the question of whether tax payer dollars are being spent appropriately? It does not. And it seems (to me) that this parallels the AR arguments about debating scientific merits of biomedical research with animals.


Reply:

Actually, it does. And that is exactly how science works. If you are proposing research in high-energy physics, and are suggesting that billions of dollars of taxpayer money be spent on it, then surely if there are reputable scientists arguing that your theory is not workable and that those billions would not produce something of benefit, then there most certainly should be debate about it.

You are saying that you do not want to have your ideas questioned and that you should be given those billions of dollars regardless of the merit of your ideas. And when there are some small public forums, an opposing scientist or few, show up and give articulate presentations backed up by scientific data about why your theory does not work, and then you get up and say, but we need this new cyclotron and what about the children with cancer! You provide no data to back up your claim. Nothing but an emotional appeal.

*********

I believe that a scientific argument on the pros and cons of using animals in biomedical research is a waste of time, because at the end of the day, there will be evidence presented on both sides with no judge of their validity. Then, an AR cell will state that it is still opposed to using animals on ethical grounds and the scientific community will state the opposite. So, skip the science debate and put it to ethicists.

Reply:

So again you are articulating the position of OHSU quite well. You see yourself above debate over whether your methodologies are useful for human health. You just intend to do what you do regardless of its efficacy. That demonstrates a closed mind that is locked in its own dogma and unwilling to change or grow. That is not science, and that is not beneficial.

No, OHSU is almost desperate to frame the issue as only an ethical question, because then you can keep control indefinitely. What you absolutely do not want is independent scientific review of your methodologies and an honest cost benefit analysis because you would fail that test and lose your funding.

Likewise, you are opposed to any accountability of public will. If you sat down a dozen well educated citizens, who would make decisions on an effectiveness basis, not on the ethical question of animal welfare, and reviewed the current animal based studies at OHSU many of them would be canceled right off. And I am confident to say that with an in-depth review of the animal based model, those people would stop animal based research almost, if not entirely.

The scientific literature is full with many examples where the use of the animal model has led directly to the deaths of many many people. And there are not contrasting examples that counterbalance that harm, so the net result is negative. Animal based research is harming people. Both directly, and by taking money and resources that would be going to clearly effective methodologies. If that is the case, the ethical question is a red herring, a misdirection.

Your deceptive and closed minded position is itself unethical. Whether you want to face it or not, you are harming people. Look at the data. Look at the scientific literature. It is all there for independent review. The conclusion is quite clear. That is why there should be meaningful debate, and that is why you refuse it.

debate is pointless if you know you will lose 14.Jul.2005 12:51

Elaine Close

To "room with a view": Are you seriously saying that debate about scientific theories is irrelevant to science? It is a theory that non-human animals can model humans effectively. Throughout history, scientific theories have been replaced by better theories and debate is part of this process. Whether or not animal experimentation works is not an unanswerable question.

I would guess by your use of the phrase "ranting and raving" in reference to those who oppose animal experimentation that you agree with the convention. Of course people who want the status quo think that scientific debate is pointless and want to keep the issue in the realm of philosophy.

Look at what recently happened in Cambridge when a government hearing was held about a proposed primate brain research lab. Scientists for and against the lab where given the opportunity to present evidence about the usefulness of the lab. It was decided that the evidence did not support the claim that building the lab was in the public interest.

 http://www.whitecoatwelfare.org/cambridge.shtml

And also, there are more than two ethical positions on the issue. There are doctors and scientists who don't oppose the use of animals on ethical grounds but who oppose animal experimentation because it is not helping human patients. (Americans for Medical Advancement, etc.)

Nonsense 14.Jul.2005 13:09

webcams

Having webcams that show animals living in a natural habitat and being treated with love and compassion would go a good way to eroding AR objections

Right on to Room with a View!!! 14.Jul.2005 13:12

+'s mission takes him to the capital!! woo-hoo!

kudos to room with a view. it is an ethical argument.

in an ethical arguent, when one person has to result to nastiness and intimidation to attempt to win the argument, then he/she completely debases himself and his argument.

please, +, you're hurting your cause and diminishing the voice of those your support with your arguments. when you compare a scientist who studies fruit flies to a nazi war criminal, you depict yourself as completely DELUSIONAL. no one will want to talk to you or listen to what you have to say if you represent yourself as a crazybrain.

some serious advice i have for you is that you should lobby against the NIH if you want to stop the use of animals for scientific research. the scientists that you keep mentioning believe just as strongly in argument "A" as you do in argument "B." they aren't going to pay attention to any of your intimidation tactics, especially because you are behaving like a freak!!! if you really wanted to make a difference and stop AR, +, then you'd take measures to STOP THE FUNDING SOURCE, instead of screaming about how great you are for not eating meat nor swatting flies and how evil everyone else is who does eat meat and swat flies.

funding for animal research is not coming from OR taxpayer money. it's coming largely and predominantly from the NIH. go do some lobbying in washington dc. that would be MUCH more effective than harrassing individual scientists at their own homes.

Concerned Citizen 14.Jul.2005 13:37

for the love of people and animals

Thank you, concerned citizen for presenting your argument clearly, concisely, and smartly.

You speak very well for your cause.

I have been schooled in many advances that were originally propelled by AR. The easiet and most common example I can think of is using pigs to make insulin for diabetics. As you mentioned, though, that came about many years ago. A current example I can think of off the top of my head is electrical stimulation of the subthalamic nuclei (where surgery is performed and an electrode is planted in the brain of human patients) to relieve Parkinsonian symptoms. Although expensive, this surgery has proven to be very successful.

But yes, there have been drugs approved by the FDA that have turned out to be harmful. That is most often because (as in the case of VIOXX) a pharmaceutical company (with financial interest) has pushed the drug too quickly through clinical trails. As an aspiring academic scientist, that is exactly everything I am against.

Because of your eloquent arguments and intriguing ideas, concerned citizen, I will delve into the literature to elucidate many more examples of current successful medical treatments that began with animal research. As I am a thorough and careful person, I will take a few days to compile my examples.

Thank you for your stimulating and thought provoking dialogue.

A strange statement from OHSU? 14.Jul.2005 13:54

Another Site Reader

room with a view says: I believe that a scientific argument on the pros and cons of using animals in biomedical research is a waste of time, because at the end of the day, there will be evidence presented on both sides with no judge of their validity.



So what you are saying is that you cannot prove the validity of your research. You want public money, but you are confused that the public would like you to demonstrate what they are getting in return. Since you yourself state right here that you cannot demonstrate its usefulness, in my opinion, you do not deserve public money and you do not deserve to say you are doing something for my benefit.

Thanks for a forum to discuss these things.

! 14.Jul.2005 13:55

Jason

"kudos to room with a view. it is an ethical argument."

It is an ethical argument

It is an ethical argument

It is an ethical argument

We at OHSU must repeat this over and over because we would never want to face an honest scientiic inquiry into what we are doing. The only choice is between the rat and baby. Honest it is. Don't look behind the curtain.

Comment to this article 14.Jul.2005 14:26

Margie Dawkins

I'm not from Oregon, but this article link was posted to a discussion listserve I'm on. I read through the whole thing. What I'd never heard, was talk about the value of the research on animals. I had not heard the claim that animal research was not good science. I always assumed that disturbing as it was, animal research was crucial to medical advancement. So I read through much of the curedisease.com website. It is compelling. I am now looking at the article about Cambridge that someone just posted a link to. That too is an eyeopener. I appreciate thought provoking discussion.

I posted back to the listserve some of this information so that people who did not follow the link know about it.

to room with a view 14.Jul.2005 15:41

dana

Just to clarify-- I am in no way opposed to scientific argument. The opposite actually. I believe people need factual information to make informed decisions. This isn't an either-or. We can debate both the scientific and the ethical. People use both when they decide to change a behavior or support a cause. It does seem like activists shy away from the ethical debate. Yes, researchers prefer the ethical argument because they don't have to justify their work based on scientific value -- which says a lot. What disturbs me is the way ethical debate is completely disregarded. I've met more than a few ex-vegetarians who gave up animal flesh for health/diet reasons, but returned when the scientific "evidence" suggested it was once again safe to eat. If their decision had been made on an ethical argument there would be fewer ex-vegetarians. A simplified example, but again I wonder if animal research produced beneficial results and it was done in a so-called humane way, would we still be ranting and raving?

still a great discussion 14.Jul.2005 18:06

OHSU employee

I have taken to two participants in this discussion.
Elaine Close - could you list some of these medical and scienific organizations which regulate the applicability of research? I think they are essential in the fight to minimize unnecessary animal harm. I also think that these are the people that will get those cameras up and running in the animal rooms. They are the ones that IACUC and OHSU will listen to. Personally, I cannot see how displaying lab methods to the public will harm the research.

To the aspiring academic scientist - I look forward to your investigation of productive and beneficial animal research. I also agree that the pharmaceutical companies drive unsafe drug production, as well as ineffective drug research. Their funding is merely an investment in profitable research - this should definitely be a target for AR activists and concerned scientists. And if these companies have an influence on the NIH, then we have a huge problem.

R 14.Jul.2005 19:37

J

funding for animal research is not coming from OR taxpayer money. it's coming largely and predominantly from the NIH. go do some lobbying in washington dc. that would be MUCH more effective than harrassing individual scientists at their own homes.



Oregonians pay federal income tax, so NIH money is coming from (obviously not solely) the people of Oregon.

Just because the NIH is handing out money for wasteful research does not mean local researchers are obliged to take it.

Visiting DC is a endeavor for the well off. That is not a practical suggestion. Most people do not have the money for regular plane fares, nor the ability to take time off of work. I think visiting local researchers is a fine idea. I would prefer activists who visit homes, would stick to the issues, and not do things like call researchers personal insults, but nagging them to address real concerns is participatory democracy at work. Home visits would not need to happen if there were honest social dialog about these issues at the level of policy and financial outlay.

regarding hidden comments 14.Jul.2005 21:57

pdxindy workerbee

There have been some comments hidden. Generally sexist, racist or overtly derogatory comments, both directed at activists, and at Cynthia Bethea. No comment which contributes to the discussion has been hidden.

Diabetes 14.Jul.2005 22:38

Concerned Citizen

Thank you, concerned citizen for presenting your argument clearly, concisely, and smartly.

You speak very well for your cause.

I have been schooled in many advances that were originally propelled by AR. The easiet and most common example I can think of is using pigs to make insulin for diabetics. As you mentioned, though, that came about many years ago.


reply:

Thank you for your praise.

Yes, it did come about many years ago, and so is not very important to the present, but I still thought I would post this for all the readers from the curedisease.com website. More in another post.


 http://www.curedisease.com/FAQ.html#diab

Q:Wasn't it through lab animals that scientists discovered diabetes and developed insulin?

A: Pro-animal experiment contingencies always cite the development of insulin as support for continued animal testing. They assert, with justification, that without insulin harvested from slaughterhouses many diabetics would have lost their lives. Whereas it is true that animals have figured largely in the history of diabetic research and therapy, their use has not been necessary and furthermore has not always advanced science.

Diabetes is a very serious disease, even today affecting ten to fourteen million Americans. It is a leading cause of blindness, amputation, kidney failure and premature death. Although the clinical signs of human diabetes have been known since the first century AD, not until the late eighteenth century did physicians associate the disease with characteristic changes in the pancreas seen at autopsy. As this was difficult to reproduce in animals, many scientists disputed the role of the pancreas in the disease.

Nearly a century later, in 1869, scientists identified insulin-producing pancreatic cells that malfunction in diabetic patients. Other human pancreatic conditions, such as pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) were seen to produce diabetic symptoms, reinforcing the disease's link with the pancreas.

Animal experimenters continued to interrupt the nicely progressing course of knowledge regarding the pancreas and diabetes. When they removed pancreases from dogs, cats, and pigs, sure enough, the animals did become diabetic. However, the animals' symptoms led to conjecture that diabetes was a liver disease, linking sugar transport to the liver and glycogen. These animal studies threw diabetes research off track for many years.

In 1882, a physician named Dr. Marie noted the association between acromegaly, a pituitary disorder, and sugar in the urine, thus connecting sugar metabolism and the pituitary gland. Another doctor, Atkinson, published data in 1938 that revealed 32.8 per cent of all acromegalic patients suffered from diabetes. Bouchardat published similar findings in 1908. For some reason, the scientist who reproduced this in dogs, Bernardo Houssay, ended up winning the Nobel Prize in 1947. Obviously, it is hardly fair to say dogs were responsible for his kudos, since knowledge predated Houssay's experiments and any number of human-based methods would have produced the same findings.

In the early 1920s two scientists, John Macleod and Frederick Banting, isolated insulin by extracting it from a dog. For this they received a Nobel Prize. Macleod admitted that their contribution was not the discovery of insulin, but rather reproducing in the dog lab what had already been demonstrated in man. They were not obliged to extract insulin from dogs, because certainly there was ample tissue from humans. They merely did so because it was convenient. In that same year Banting and another experimenter, named Best, gave dog insulin to a human patient with disastrous results. Note what scientists said about the dog experiments in 1922,

The production of insulin originated in a wrongly conceived, wrongly conducted, and wrongly interpreted series of experiments.

Banting, Best and other scientists modified the process using in vitro techniques and later mass-produced insulin from pig and cow pancreases collected at slaughterhouses.

In coming years scientists continued to refine the animal-derived substance. Though it is true that beef and pork insulin saved lives, it also created an allergic reaction in some patients. Beef insulin has three amino acids that differ from human amino acids while pork insulin has only one. Whereas this sounds negligible, it takes very little amino acid discrepancy to undermine health. (Only one deviant amino acid is enough to produce certain life threatening diseases, such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia.) Injecting animal-derived insulin also presented the sizable danger of transmitting viruses that cross from one species to another. Had researchers then recognized these potentialities as well as the gulf of differences between humans and farm animals, scientists would have hastened to develop human insulin more quickly.

The ability to treat patients suffering from diabetes without giving them insulin injections was discovered by chance on humans. Today, the administration of oral anti-hyperglycemics, which arose from serendipity and self-experimentation, eliminates the need for insulin injections in many patients.

Diabetes is still stunningly enigmatic, in large part due to our continued reliance on the animal model. Most clinicians believe that strict glucose control though insulin injections offers advantages over a less regimented treatment plan. However, insulin is a treatment not a cure for diabetes. The exact biochemical process through which insulin regulates blood sugar is not yet known.

Debate about debate 15.Jul.2005 07:23

Room with a view

I appreciate the comments from Concerned Citizen, Elaine and Dana, but the arguments are not compelling for a number of reasons.

Elaine et al. provided a short list of bloopers, mistakes and serendipity from a cursory examination of the history of medical research over the last 100 years [as espoused by R. Greek and associates]. If we put all medical mistakes on the scale of justice, it would not out-weight the body of knowledge and advances in medicine over the same time period. And the comparison does not advance animal welfare.

Moving on to current research and evaluation by citizens. It has long been accepted that people without sufficient background in highly specialized areas are not appropriate judges. As in a court of law, the judge needs to have a great depth of knowledge in order to be fair. Scientific research is therefore, critically reviewed and evaluated by others who have the depth of knowledge necessary to judge. AR will maintain that this is collusion, but the alternative is not workable. Funding for a research project is predicated on the proposal being scored in the top ~10% of all proposals by a panel of 18 or more very critical scientists. That is where the debate over the merits of the science occurs. Rigorous debate over the well being of the animals occurs when the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee review the proposal. After all this, what is to be gained in re-review by 12 people without in depth knowledge of the specific area? How does this advance animal welfare?

Extending the debate to whether tax dollars are being spent on appropriate projects takes the argument into the political arena. Educating politicians about science and the validity of proposed projects is an ongoing effort. Shouting at the private residence of an individual scientist is misdirected anger at the priorities of our elected officials or the effectiveness of lobby for the NIH budget. Another site reader falsely contends that scientists do not want to demonstrate to the public what they are getting. Public outreach has never been so vigorous. There are scientists talking to schools and groups all the time. OMSI sponsors Brain Awareness Week where scientists go and talk about their research every year to hundreds of people.

The arguments eventually become circular. For a physician to say that 'they do not oppose the use of animals on ethical grounds but they oppose animal experimentation because it is not helping human patients" is nonsense. If animal experiments do not advance human and animal health, then it would be unethical. However, the evidence is overwhelming that medical advances have, and are being made, and that animals provide an important component of that effort.
Is the process perfect? No.
Is it fast? No.

But everyone wants animals to be treated humanely.

Causal or Casual? 15.Jul.2005 10:14

Concerned Citizen

A current example I can think of off the top of my head is electrical stimulation of the subthalamic nuclei (where surgery is performed and an electrode is planted in the brain of human patients) to relieve Parkinsonian symptoms. Although expensive, this surgery has proven to be very successful.

Reply:

Are there any online links about this example and how animal research played a part. Thanks

*********

But yes, there have been drugs approved by the FDA that have turned out to be harmful. That is most often because (as in the case of VIOXX) a pharmaceutical company (with financial interest) has pushed the drug too quickly through clinical trails. As an aspiring academic scientist, that is exactly everything I am against.

Reply:

Pushed the drug too quickly through clinical trials. I assume by clinical trials you mean trials on humans.

A point that Dr. Greek made during his testimony at the Oregon Opportunity Task Force Hearing was that the animal model is not predictive. So you can test a potential new drug on a mouse and it will kill it, on a rat and it will cure it, on a cat and it will give it an entirely different disease, on a dog and it will have no effect. You still have no idea what the result will be on the human. Seems to me, if you dropped testing the drug on the animal, you would be no less informed the first time it was given to a human. In fact, you might be better off because you would be more cautious and not have companies rushing drugs to market based on their apparent safety when given to certain animals. (not to mention the money you would save) I would argue that it is the animal model itself, just as with tobacco, that allows the company to claim safety, and freedom from criminal negligence, and rush it to market.

It was mentioned in a comment above how tobacco companies were able to claim for years that smoking does not cause cancer because of faulty animal data. Well, faulty as applied to humans. It was accurate for the animals it was tested on. How many people suffered and died (millions?) and how many billions of dollars lost because of faulty science using the animal model? (national tobacco related health costs are approx $50 billion annually)

*********


Because of your eloquent arguments and intriguing ideas, concerned citizen, I will delve into the literature to elucidate many more examples of current successful medical treatments that began with animal research. As I am a thorough and careful person, I will take a few days to compile my examples.

Reply:

I look forward to your examples.

Please do provide some information with them. Just because there was animal testing/research, and there was some positive development, does not mean there is a causal relationship between the two. OHSU is touting Martha Neuringer's research as contributing to a breakthrough in infant formula. What should be discussed, is that her work was one citation of dozens. All the others were human based studies.

The question was whether a certain substance should be put in infant formula.

First, if dozens of human based studies are showing it safe, what need for a monkey based study at all?

Second, if, as discussed above, the animal model is not predictive, it might turn out that a monkey based study could produce an incorrect result. Therefore, you must have human based study, and the animal based study is superfluous.

Of course the substance in question is naturally present in human milk, so common sense and thousands of years of empirical evidence make the answer obvious to start with, but that is another discussion.

So can OHSU rightly claim Martha Neuringer's work as an example? Or is it an example of a waste of money and needless exploitation of animals. I say the later. I would say the IACUC regulations agree with me.

The IACUC has certain regulations guiding the use of animals in research. (The following taken from IACUC regulations)

(e) A proposal to conduct an activity involving animals, or to make a significant change in an ongoing
activity involving animals, must contain the following:
(1) Identification of the species and the approximate number of animals to be used;
(2) A rationale for involving animals, and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers of
animals to be used;
(3) A complete description of the proposed use of the animals;
(4) A description of procedures designed to assure that discomfort and pain to animals will be limited
to that which is unavoidable for the conduct of scientifically valuable research, including provision for the
use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs where indicated and appropriate to minimize
discomfort and pain to animals; and
(5) A description of any euthanasia method to be used.

There is no rationale for involving animals (#2) when dozens of human based studies provided all needed data.

Then take #4 - A description of procedures designed to assure that discomfort and pain to animals will be limited
to that which is unavoidable for the conduct of scientifically valuable research -

Unavoidable.

How many studies at OHSU and across the nation can actually meet this criteria? I would say the majority of studies at OHSU I have heard about, would not pass muster, if the IACUC were fulfilling its charge.

Scientifically Valuable Research.

Now this is ambiguous. Ethics aside, the animal model provides scientifically valuable research ABOUT THAT ANIMAL. That does not translate into usefulness to human health, which is what is claimed in order to get funding from the U.S. taxpayer.

I would interpret that to state in intent - scientifically valuable research to human health - I believe that is the intent of the law.

So look at Judy Camerons behavioral studies. It can be demonstrated that monkeys are a poor model for complex human behavior, and that other methodologies are available which would provide more useful results, therefore the use of animals is avoidable and even desirable. Thus Judy Cameron's behavioral studies at OHSU are basically illegal according to the letter and intent of the law.

So it is important when you provide your examples, that you explain how, assuming a causal relationship and benefit from animal use, the use of animals was unavoidable - that no other non-animal based method would work.

Lets Get Down to It 15.Jul.2005 11:39

--

You and I obviously have very different ideas about the humane treatment of animals. Nor do ARA's have much faith in the institutions that determine what is humane treatment. What do you think those monkeys experience as their babies are taken from them, as those experimented on spend entire lives in a cage the size of a closet for a human? Would you choose their lives if doing so was an "important component" of medical advancement?

Do you identify with the animals at all? Do you need to be convinced that they feel fear, love, boredom, insecurity, and joy just as we do?

good points concerned citizen, room w/a view 15.Jul.2005 12:07

(open-minded) OHSU employee

room w/ a view:

Do you think, however, that these grant review panels are stuck in short-sightedness, the "archaic dogma" mentioned earlier? I mean, because the animal model is so pervasive, they are persuaded by researchers so eager to continue work on their animal model of whatever - only because no other model has been presented (certainly a determined researcher will not present an alternative model when they are getting so much done with their present animal model). This especially applies to basic science which, to me, appears many times to be a misguided molecular scavenger hunt - perhaps within the context of molecular interactions it is not misguided, but in the context of applicability.
Concerned citizen brings up a good point about sublte protein composition differences which create huge complications between species (in terms of treatment). Only after long trial-and-error animal testing, would we know if a new antibody from a bacteria will bind to the "homologous" protein of another species.

Also, room with a view, do you agree that there is junk science (which involves animal experimentation)? I am training in neuroscience, and I am beginning to think it is a folly that we can comprehend the brain on a molecular level or superficial level (like computer mapping). Basic neuroscience seems to be a dead end - learning and memory, attention, social interaction, perception...

To me, it does not seem that many scientists are motivated by healing society - and this does matter because they are the one making the arguments for grant money. If it really is only pure curiosity, and maybe desire to control and manipulate, then science is not proving to be EFFICIENT. And I can only hope that there is sincere debate, like this one we are having, among grant reviewers and scientists to make scientific research cost and harm effective.

Side note: in most cases politics is a dead end - I am not opposed to the action taken by activist to visit Dr. Bethea. Although it seems they could have been more tasteful and open-minded, this debate would not exist without their action. And every researcher should have to stand up for their research, just like every politician should have to stand up for the bills they sign.

Please forgive any ignorance in my comments.

comment 15.Jul.2005 12:34

Concerned Citizen

I appreciate the comments from Concerned Citizen, Elaine and Dana, but the arguments are not compelling for a number of reasons.

Elaine et al. provided a short list of bloopers, mistakes and serendipity from a cursory examination of the history of medical research over the last 100 years [as espoused by R. Greek and associates]. If we put all medical mistakes on the scale of justice, it would not out-weight the body of knowledge and advances in medicine over the same time period. And the comparison does not advance animal welfare.

Reply:

You say the medical mistakes would not outweigh the advances. I agree. What you do not address is whether and to what extent animal research contributed to or hindered those advances. You need to establish a causal relationship. Just because animal research was happening, does not mean it automatically contributed.

I could just as easily say just because those scientists were wearing shoes, that shoes played a critical role in those advances and that those advances could not have happened if the scientists went barefoot.

In this case, Dr. Greek, along with many other doctors are arguing that the animal research has actually hindered those advances and that we would be farther along without it. They back up that claim with a lot of scientific data. So far, OHSU provides no data to back up their assertions.

What you are calling bloopers and mistakes, is often willful ignorance. Using animal data to back up the assertion that smoking does not cause cancer was a willful act driven by greed, and facilitated by bad science. Any open honest look showed copious empirical data that proved the animal data wrong.

But if you want to call it a mistake, that same blind allegiance to the animal model is ongoing. The mistake has not been corrected.

Cancer research in animals has been a failure and will continue to fail because rat or monkey cancer is not the same as human cancer. In March of last year Fortune Magazine had a cover article called "Why We Are losing the War on Cancer and How to Win It". It discusses how we have had lots of apparent breakthroughs in lab animals and they just haven't translated to humans.

"The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse...We have cured mice of cancer for decades and it simply didn't work in humans "
Dr. Richard Klausner, former director of the National Cancer Institute.

One can make the claim that the animal model has hindered cancer research. Obviously Fortune Magazine is not an animal rights advocate.

Billions of dollars have been spent on AIDS research on monkeys. It is a spectacular failure. All significant advances have come through other means. Wouldn't those billions be better spent elsewhere?

You say the arguments are not compelling. You are wrong. The Cambridge example Ms. Close cited in a comment above

 http://www.whitecoatwelfare.org/cambridge.shtml

shows without any doubt that the arguments are compelling. They compelled the British governmental hearing to decide that the evidence did not support the claim that building a primate brain research lab was in the public interest. With such an irrefutable example, I can only assume you are willfully ignoring the evidence.

*********

Moving on to current research and evaluation by citizens. It has long been accepted that people without sufficient background in highly specialized areas are not appropriate judges. As in a court of law, the judge needs to have a great depth of knowledge in order to be fair. Scientific research is therefore, critically reviewed and evaluated by others who have the depth of knowledge necessary to judge. AR will maintain that this is collusion, but the alternative is not workable.

reply:

First off, there are many doctors who are challenging the inbred belief in the animal model. You talk as if the only people speaking against your position are AR, (your somewhat insulting shorthand for animal rights activists).

Second, common sense goes a long way, and indeed would be a breath of fresh air in an incestuous industry.

Common sense shows the absurdity of a Judy Cameron study to determine if infants who receive greater social support are better off than infants who receive less social support. Everybody knows that. But if common sense is not enough, you have the testimony of people like Dr. Malgosia Cegielski. You would be hard pressed to find someone with greater qualification to determine the usefulness of Cameron's behavioral studies to her field of clinical psychology. Dr. Cegielski and other highly qualified professionals have testified to the uselessness of such animal based behavioral studies. Judy Cameron and OHSU have provided no rebuttal.

*********

Funding for a research project is predicated on the proposal being scored in the top ~10% of all proposals by a panel of 18 or more very critical scientists. That is where the debate over the merits of the science occurs. Rigorous debate over the well being of the animals occurs when the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee review the proposal. After all this, what is to be gained in re-review by 12 people without in depth knowledge of the specific area? How does this advance animal welfare?

reply;

If Judy Cameron's absurd studies are in the top 10%, I really cannot imagine how ridiculous the bottom 90% must be. No, as with any industry, it is name recognition, influence, and a collective self interest in keeping their business going that drives decisions. Please state the names and positions of those 18 scientists. Are they animal researchers? Are any of them critical of the animal model? What is their relationship to NIH? From where do they get their money? The NIH has a vested interest. OHSU has a vested interest.

The IACUC is made up of people from OHSU. Why are they going to turn down research dollars coming into their institution? There is one person on the IACUC who is supposed to be unaffiliated with OHSU, but then I do not know who that person is because OHSU refused a public request to know who the public representative was.

Regarding the IACUC

The IACUC has certain regulations guiding the use of animals in research. (The following taken from IACUC regulations)

(e) A proposal to conduct an activity involving animals, or to make a significant change in an ongoing
activity involving animals, must contain the following:
(1) Identification of the species and the approximate number of animals to be used;
(2) A rationale for involving animals, and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers of
animals to be used;
(3) A complete description of the proposed use of the animals;
(4) A description of procedures designed to assure that discomfort and pain to animals will be limited
to that which is unavoidable for the conduct of scientifically valuable research, including provision for the
use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs where indicated and appropriate to minimize
discomfort and pain to animals; and
(5) A description of any euthanasia method to be used.

I explained in my previous post how the IACUC is failing to fulfill its mission.

The fox is watching the henhouse

*********

Extending the debate to whether tax dollars are being spent on appropriate projects takes the argument into the political arena. Educating politicians about science and the validity of proposed projects is an ongoing effort. Shouting at the private residence of an individual scientist is misdirected anger at the priorities of our elected officials or the effectiveness of lobby for the NIH budget. Another site reader falsely contends that scientists do not want to demonstrate to the public what they are getting. Public outreach has never been so vigorous. There are scientists talking to schools and groups all the time. OMSI sponsors Brain Awareness Week where scientists go and talk about their research every year to hundreds of people.

reply:

This is disingenuous. Public Relations and generalized public presentations have no relationship to requests for public discourse over the efficacy of research methodologies and the cost benefits of the use of our money.

When there is real public discourse and investigation, as in the example of Cambridge, you can see the result. It was not in your favor. Obviously it would be the rare researcher who would risk their own livelihood, and so it needs people with a more objective position involved in the decisions.

We can look at the example of global climate change. It is interesting how it is the scientist from within industry with something to lose, that opposes the general consensus of the scientific community. Scientists are not above the push and pull of money and power. So indeed it is you, and the researchers at OHSU who are not qualified to be making these decisions because your livelihoods color your views and ability to make objective decisions.

Again, you are wrong. The arguments are compelling. But you are locked into a defense of the institution you work for. Medicine would advance faster if reliance on the animal model were dropped. Of course business that depends upon animal research does not want to face this. Society should not allow your self interest to drive choices that are harmful to the society as a whole.

ps 15.Jul.2005 12:50

OHSU employee

My views do not represent OHSU or its researchers.
I am not promoting direct action for activitsts. I am promoting open debate about current issues in scientific research.

Let's Give A Big 'Thank You' To OHSU 15.Jul.2005 12:58

AN ARA

J: Your local tax dollars, as well as mine and everyone else, IS going to fund animal research. Two quick calls proved it. According to Washington County Tax Assessment Office, the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, located at 505 NW 185th, sits on 136.93 acres.The real market value of that property is 13 MILLION 122 THOUSAND 280 dollars for which OHSU does not pay one dime in property taxes. Another call to Multnomah County Assessors' Office shows records that Peter Kohler, President of OHSU, resides in a home located at 1863 SW Montgomery Drive in Portland, which is owned by OHSU and has a value of 1 MILLION 413 THOUSAND 150 dollars. Again, virtually no property taxes are paid on this house or land. When these luxury homes and other properties are exempt from taxes and our local government is depending on income derived from propery taxes, someone is going to have to make up the difference and that someone is you and I. As far as all the other properties owned by OHSU, which would include all the facilities up on the hill, the neighborhood clinics, as well as the new Macadam site, I was told they were too numerous and it would take too much time to look up. So the next time you hear that Oregon/Portland is needing to close schools, cut programs or lay off teachers due to lack of funds, you can thank OHSU.
Oh and let's not forget the $$$$ that the City Of Portland threw in for OHSU's Damn Tram!

Define "Humanely" 15.Jul.2005 13:06

@

Cynthia Bethea,oops,I mean Room with a view: Would you care to give your personal definition of "humanely" in reference to how animals should be treated. I am speaking of animals in labs not Lucy, your Doxie.

Can You Help? 15.Jul.2005 19:40

Concerned

An open message to all OHSU employess, past and present:
I am very interested in knowing about the other animals that OHSU uses in their research programs, especially the dogs and cats. How many do they maintain, in what type of research are they used, who are the researchers involved, who and where do they obtain these animals from and in which buildings are they housed? If you have any information, please get it out to the public so we can help them as well as the primates.

Re: still a great discussion 15.Jul.2005 22:33

Elaine Close

I am not sure I understand the question directed to me from OHSU employee but I will try to answer. Some science-based organizations that oppose animal research are the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (www.pcrm.org), the Medical Research Modernization Committee ( http://www.mrmcmed.org), Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine (www.dlrm.org), and as mentioned above, Americans for Medical Advancement (curedisease.com). AMFA opposes animal experimentation because they believe it hurts human patients. Their stance is based on personal experience and review of scientific literature. They would not be the ones to put cameras in labs because they are not involved in animal welfare issues. PCRM works to improve human health through opposing animal experimentation and through conducting clinical research and they also are involved in lab animal welfare issues. It would be great if OHSU would listen to these groups as suggested but that won't happen because it is not in OHSU's financial interest to do so.

Are You Kidding? 16.Jul.2005 00:10

a not funny subject

Hell, I'll put in the cameras if OHSU would let us monitor the monkeys being used for experiments in their housing and during the procedures.

It won't happen. They don't want the public to see.

hypothetical platform question for ARAs 16.Jul.2005 11:33

aspiring academic scientist

While composing a review of the literature of examples how AR has improved health, life-span, reduced disease in humans, I've realized that of course I must consider the platform of my fellow discussion participants. I don't want to write a paper for this group discussion that no one else will read. Also, I will give literature references and not internet references. Anybody can write anything on the internet. I don't consider internet postings to be especially valuable references and will not restrict my research to things with an internet link. Somebody asked that I do that, and I will have to answer no on that one.

OK, having said that, I want to ask a question to help me better understand your ethical viewpoint...

Should I discuss any surgical advancements that have occurred as a result of AR when composing my paper? Or should I leave surgical advancements out of the discussion?

I'm not trying to ask loaded questions here, I'm just trying to see how different our platforms are from each other before we start to discuss the large body of evidence supporting animal research.

Much thanks

Aspiring Academic Scientist 16.Jul.2005 16:11

Concerned Citizen

First, a minor point. I do not consider myself an ARA as such.

Thanks for your request for clarification. I did ask for internet reference, though I did mean where possible. Whatever references you choose are fine.

Discuss whatever advancements you wish. I am open to the possibility that animal research may in some cases provide human benefit and that no other method would have served instead. I wish to see if you can demonstrate that. Obviously though, if we can learn X, through causing suffering, and we can learn X via another method which does not cause suffering, then the ethical choice is clear. That is also the choice that a vast majority of citizens would make if given that choice.

Also, efficacy needs to be looked at. I would be surprised if with all the billions upon billions of dollars spent on animal research, that something could not be found to show for it. How much benefit, vs how much harm and then consider other methods. If we can spend a billion to obtain a certain result, and we can spend a billion to obtain a better result, the choice is again clear.

You asked about the different individual platforms for the discussion. You can see where I am coming from by my posts above. In one comment I use the example of Martha Neuringer. OHSU has touted her work as contributing to an advance in infant formula. I say it was a needless redundancy because dozens of human based studies obtained the necessary data and because data obtained from humans is going to be more accurate than data obtained from other species, when applied to humans. This point is in the IACUC regulations and so I would say that her study was unethical and seems to me, illegal.

Every year, there are advances in medical technologies. Obviously, if you know nothing about hearts, blood and arteries, cutting up a dog will show you something about how you work as well. That time is past. Medicine is talking about treatments tailored to a specific persons genetic makeup. How far away then is another species? Now there are also extraordinary techniques of studying the living human brain. How antiquated are maternal deprivation studies on non-human primates?

With these advances, one would think that animal research would be shrinking as it was replaced by more refined methodologies. Why then is it increasing yearly? My answer to that question is that it is not being driven by good science, but by an entrenched industry with its own vested interest, and the vast inertia of bureaucracy.

So do provide whatever examples you find pertinent, but please do also respond to some of the points I have made. Since OHSU is right here in our backyard, I would also say it is valuable to have some discussion of specific studies going on there. Do you, for example, have any justification for Judy Cameron's behavioral studies? How do you respond to the testimony of Dr. Cegeilski when she says that Judy Cameron's studies have no relevance to her work and she says that her field has advanced beyond what Cameron is studying?


Finally, to room with a view who said: "Moving on to current research and evaluation by citizens. It has long been accepted that people without sufficient background in highly specialized areas are not appropriate judges."

Do read the story "The Emperors New Clothes" for some insight on this point.

Overload 16.Jul.2005 20:06

pill hillroom with a view

First, there are too many lines of discussion for one person to deal with.

I will try to respond to the major points from concerned citizen and neuroscientist in training.

To neurosci trainee- you need to discuss your concerns with your advisor. No one is going to penalize you if you have concerns of this nature. I am a bit skeptical that you are really training in neuroscience because it is extremely rare for someone with your concerns to undertake the rigors of postgraduate education. However, there may be a niche for you in genetics,etc. I had a wonderful employee for years who would only work with cells in culture. No biggie.

wrong button 16.Jul.2005 22:13

room with a view

Sorry this got broken up. Will try to wrestle with some of the comments from concerned citizen but there is so much that seems to be due to lack of understanding of how science is conducted in the world, plus major distrust of academia, that it is not possible for one person to provide all of the information necessary for a dialogue. And how this advances animal welfare still eludes me.

Also, a single scientist is not OHSU, is not responsible for tax codes, does not govern the IACUC, does not govern other researchers experiments and cannot defend biomedical research in its entirety for the last century. Nor does a single scientist deserve to be intimidated and shouted at through bullhorns at home due to ARAs ('scuse the abbrev plz) belief that this is an appropriate exercise of their civil rights. It is wrong. "I hate you, please talk to me" is completely borderline.

Minor comment regarding statement that OHSU is reaping huge profits. LOL folks. OHSU gets less than 4% of its operating budget from OR and last year it was about 50 mil in the hole due to taking care of indigents and underinsured. ONPRC is a nonprofit research institution. This is the kind of uninformed nonsense that can be overcome by reading simple publications like OHSU News and Views. It is really annoying that you folks are lacking this kind of information. The request to state the names and positions of 18 scientists on an NIH review panel is another LOL. There are dozens of NIH review panels with rotating rosters of scientists from all over North America. Try www.nih.gov for a list of review panels, the rosters of the panels, etc. You can read something besides PETA pubs now and then can't you?

And like OHSU is going to reveal the name of an IACUC member after you guys have been using bullhorns on private residences.

And so what if some community in the UK decided not to build a primate lab? Fine with me. Your point is that debate prevents building of primate labs. That is called overgeneralization.

Starting at one of the medusa's heads> attacks on biomedical research revolve around (1) drug studies with poor outcomes or (2) basic research that may not have an immediate application. Starting with #2- the cost/benefit to society of basic discovery research has been debated forever. Write your congressperson. S/He is probably blocking grants from NSF on birds or lizards or sexual behavior as we write. The high ground on that debate (which is older than most of you) is that we are a rich society and unknown benefits are derived from discovery research and it is in our best interests to support discovery research and if we have to err, it is better to err on the liberal side than on the censor side. And that is all I am going to say on that. Any other comments on the cost/benefit ratio of discovery science should be addressed to your congressperson. Why this rich society cannot take care of all of its other problems is beyond the comprehension of any of us, and again, it is not fair to shout at a scientist over frustration with the larger picture.

Activists like to lob drug studies with poor outcomes at discovery science. No can do. Not the same thing.

On to drug studies with poor outcomes.
This is the doorstep of the pharmaceutical industry and we all have problems with them, but people, you do not want a drug to come to market without knowing how it acts in nonhuman primates.
Take thalidomide-- which was prescribed to pregnant women for nausea in Europe. It was NEVER examined in pregnant monkeys to see if it affected the fetus. It had no untoward side effects in rats. But the critical experiment was never done. If it had been given to pregnant monkeys, it would never have made it to market. It never did in US. Big lesson learned on that one.

Now, lets move on to a hypothetical drug for Alzheimer's, which has a genetic component but also occurs spontaneously and there is no known environmental cause, yet. Lets say that thanks to research we can differentiate human embryonic stem cells into cortical neurons in a dish and thanks to research we know how to trigger these neurons to form neurofibullary plaques as occurs in Alzheimer's. So, someone in big pharm screens 1 million of the drugs in its library and find one that inhibits the formation of plaques in the cultures. Now, we exploit more of our culture systems and find that this drug does not hurt any of our other 200 human cell lines. So, should we line up Alzheimer's patients and inject them. NOT A GOOD IDEA. Even if we got volunteers, that is a very vulnerable population who is not able to make good choices and it would be unethical for a number of reasons. The brain excludes many drugs. It is called the blood brain barrier and it only operates in intact animals. Also, drugs can do things in multiorgan systems that they do not do in culture due to modifications by liver, etc. So, the next steps are designed to determine if the drug can (a) inhibit plaque formation in the real brain (b) get into the brain and (b) not cause harm to other systems and reduce the potential risk to patients along the way. Now, this is where animals become very important, but maybe not the final answer. First, can the drug cross the blood brain barrier of rodents and not cause other harm. If the answer is yes, then maybe further study is indicated. If the answer is no, then further study may not be indicated. This is a difficult crossroad as evidenced by the antibiotic/guinea pig story. However, delay is not all bad. Caution is a good thing. If a drug for Alzheimer's does cross the BB barrier and does not harm rodents and prevents plaque formation in a mouse model of Alzheimer's then should we start to inject patients? STILL NOT A GOOD IDEA. Humans are not rats. However, nonhuman primates can reveal whether a new drug will have untoward side effects. Ah, but bummer, Alzheimer plaques have never been observed in NHP. So, we cannot actually determine if this new drug will prevent Alz in primates. Second best, we can determine if we give the drug to normal monkeys that it does not cause some bizarre side effect. That is helpful. But is it the final answer? Does that mean that if we give this drug to a large population of humans that it will work and not have side effects? Unfortunately, no. What has been done at each step is to REDUCE THE RISK. If you ranked the risk to humans of giving them a drug only after cell culture it would be huge. Risk after positive outcome in rodents- still fairly large. Risk after positive outcome in NHP- reduced but still present. Why? Because humans have many other things like high blood pressure or kidney stones or enlarged prostates that are generally not present in monkeys. But, the risk has been lessened. So, it is on to clinical trials with large numbers of vulnerable patients with many other pathologies that may be affected by the drug. It would be great to have the benefit of hindsight that is used by ARA to attack the bumbling of the past, but we don't. The animals used in these trials should be treated humanely of course.

On to the R. Greek supposition that medicine would be farther along without animal research. Can I borrow his crystal ball? This is the Monday morning quarterback approach. We can always look back and see, now that we know the answer, how we could have done it better. Very very poor kind of argument. If you aren't there, at the time, looking at the unknown and trying to figure out a way to penetrate it, then you simply should shut up. Observing an association between, for example diabetes and gigantism is not the same as discovering a hormone. The whole web site on diabetes is an arrogant dismissal of the state of knowledge at the time and this kind of "well how dumb was that"?? Ok for you to say 100 years later. Which brings me to this sneaky suspicion that concerned citizen needs to go to grad school and get a PhD (5-8 years). establish a high caliber research program without funding from NIH (impossible), or stay with cell and molecular approaches (10-12 years) so that he can be invited to serve on an NIH panel that reviews grant applications. With diligence and application of his brilliance, he could be the future director of NCI and implement the paradigm change in cancer research that is now underway. Go for it dude.

Humanity 17.Jul.2005 10:12

ethics

This is a great discussion. I hope that after you hash out the scientific relevance of animal testing we can go on to examine the ethics of how the animals are treated in an "industrial" model. I'm much more concerned with the quality of life of the individuals that are supposedly so critical to human well-being.

Cynthia, thanks for joining us in discussion. I regret that you find 10 minutes of chants and a bullhorn maybe once a month so frightening. Just to let you know, we are not singling out one scientist but this is an international movement and we DO apply pressure in every way and on every responsible person we can. You and we are part of history, and we are not going to let you forget the constant and long suffering of those you experiment on. If nothing else, you owe it to them to constantly and deeply reflect on their conditions and experiences.

I'm Looking Through You 17.Jul.2005 14:46

What Do I See

Cindy,
You have yet to provide your readers with a definition of "HUMANELY". Perhaps the word is not even in your vocabulary. Allow me to give you a jump start ... "Anything goes, whatever it takes to keep that grant money pouring in so we can keep our jobs, give false hope to the stupid, unsuspecting public and continue to conduct our fraudulent science." Do you care to add anything more,Room With A View?

I'm waiting on the answer to the platform question? No one answered!!..... 17.Jul.2005 15:32

aspiring academic scientist

Upon realizing that the concerned citizen with whom I'm conversing/posting is one of the people who screamed the bullhorn at the private residence of Dr. Cynthia Bethea, I've decided that I don't want to go on with the discussion.
I'm seriously doubting the existence of Elaine Close and the others, now. I don't want an intimidating person on a bullhorn visiting my home. I reserve the right to not respond to people whose intent is to intimidate me. And so right now I'm doing just that. Fare thee well.

I'm not ashamed of what I do for my life's work. If I am ever in a real conversation with any of you reading this, I'd explain every bit of it and why I believe in it, why it should one day be funded, why my work is important. And as long as you don't shout in my face and threaten me, then we can talk as long as you'd like.

reply 17.Jul.2005 17:28

OHSU employee

[ ]with a view:

I am definitely a training neuroscientist - one with a conscience. And if I am to discover that my potential life's work is not pertinent to the benefit of humanity (and only pertinent to intellectual curiosity, loosely based on relief of human suffering) I would place upon myself an extremely large debt to society. I do not have a problem with animal research, I experiment with mice now, rats in my last lab. But I will not waste money and life on unnecesary, inefficient research.

PLEASE RESPOND to comments from myself and Concerned Citizen refering to what I believe is called junk science - nicotine addiction, Dr. Neuringer's research, stress, effects of starvation...


side: I have not read OHSU news + views, but if it's anything like OHSU Outlook (an employee news letter) then it's completely full of positive news and achievement. Is OHSU that amazing?? Nothing bad happens? I would be proud if OHSU were to do something like notify its employees about this debate. I don't see that happening.

thank you

one more thing 17.Jul.2005 17:31

OHSU employee

[ ]with a view:

Also, please respond as to why placing cameras in the animal rooms is a bad idea.

please continue 18.Jul.2005 13:25

OHSU employee

aspiring academic scientist:

please continue your project for this debate. Concerned Citizen has made a strong case for his cause - the reason you decided to reply to him/her. Again, I am definitely a training neuroscientist with grad applications in my hand! Read my past statements, it should be clear.
I have also questioned, less eloquently and organized than Concerned Citizen, the efficacy of the animal model and certain types of scientific research. I have serious doubts about some of the research and parts of the scientific process that goes on today.

Your report will resolve much anguish over animal research. Many activists think researchers are self-indulged seekers of intellectual satisfaction. If you finish your investigation, you will show that some researchers are compassionate and will take the time to explain to those in distress what we are doing. If you and room wih a view can address Concerned Citizen' s and my issues, then we have come a long way and much of the debate is settled. Concerned citizen is an intelligent, and seemingly open-minded person, and if s/he were convinced by your report, Im sure s/he would tell many other ARAs wht has been learned. ! I have no idea who anyone in this discussion is!! I hardly know anyone in portland!!

I would think that for one, you would not be visited by ARAs due to THIS research project you are doing, but because of your lab's research which is available on the web. Second, I would think that you would be less of a target because you've decided to help out here. And your anonymous!

From The Person With The Bullhorm 18.Jul.2005 14:14

seriously

Concerned Citizen is definitely NOT one of the people doing home demos. I don't know who s/he is.

Elaine Close is a very real and committed activist. I know her. She is also NOT one of the people doing the home demos.

The purpose is not to intimidate but to educate the community about a reality that is largely hidden, to expose that which does not want to see the light of day.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words 18.Jul.2005 17:49

<?>

Dr. B
You were to send some information to a PO Box. Material never arrived. Empty promises are as reliable as fraudulent science. Your talk and promises are cheap.

more avoidance 19.Jul.2005 00:00

Elaine Close

It's strange to be accused of not being a real person when I am one of the only people in this discussion using my name.

I think that quitting the discussion because one does not like the manners of some people involved is a convenient way to avoid difficult questions. Whether or not someone yells has nothing to do with the question of whether or not we should pay Judy Cameron to investigate in monkeys whether or not "infants who receive greater social support have a decreased probability of developing anxious and depressive behaviors, compared to infants who receive less social support." (This is from the abstract on the NIH site.)

It is ironic that Dr. Greek is being criticized for looking back at mistakes of the past. I don't suspect "room with a view" tells Jim Newman (OHSU PR) and other animal research defenders to "shut up" when they discuss scientific history in which they were not present. Isn't it useful to look at how things could have been done better in the past in order to avoid the same bad outcomes in the future?

We have 100,000 people a year in this country dying from prescription drugs. Clearly our drug screening methods are still not keeping us safe.

and yes, people can say anything they want on the internet. If anyone is interested in seeing the references from scientific literature that back up Dr. Greek's claims, see his books.

Aspiring Acedemic Scientist 19.Jul.2005 11:17

Concerned Citizen

Here is the link to my reply to your platform request.

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/07/321073.shtml#188566

or just scroll up the page

I do not know how you decided that I was at Cynthia Bethea's residence with a bullhorn, but I can assure you I was not, nor do I know who was. If you read my comment above, you will also see that I do not even consider myself an ARA as such.

I am disappointed that you will not be compiling your list. Your sudden change makes me wonder if someone at OHSU told you not to. OHSU has done that before to employees who try to talk about such issues.

True Colors 20.Jul.2005 15:29

Jason

You are not going to get a list of accomplishments because there is no list. Even more to the point locally, ask for a list of accomplishments of the Oregon National Primate Research Center. There aren't any. OHSU people will talk for a while, trying to distract discussion onto generalized topics to avoid people lookin to close at what they do at the primate center. They torture animals, waste our money, and publish obscure papers that help nobody.

I think somebody said it in another comment. OHSU probably told their employees to stop talking here and not to engage in discussion. Better just to stick to slick PR pamphlets which tell lies and cannot be refuted. Just like the OHSU mouthpiece above suggested that if people wanted to be informed they should read OHSU literature. And if I want to find out what to drink, I should go read Coke literature - Yeah Right - Next this brainwashed guy will be offering you some Kool-Aid. Just Say No

info 20.Jul.2005 19:51

pdxindy workerbee

In general, site wide, the new discussion page feature is working well and helping to organize the site better. However, this thread has ended up as two discussions. It would be more confusing to move them into one at this point, so this is a heads up that there are both going along simultaneously.

Coffee 20.Jul.2005 21:11

Me Myself and I

Dr. Bethea, You have not yet set a time date or location that we can meet for coffee after work. Please let us know ASAP.

OHSU Strongarm? 21.Jul.2005 00:08

Concerned Citizen

I for one, was looking forward to Aspiring Academic Scientist posting the compiled list. It is 3 days since she/he posted. He/She says they do not want to continue because they realized I was attending the home demo (which I was not). I can only conclude that higher ups/security at OHSU said that as part of the effort to convince Aspiring Academic Scientist not to keep posting. Perhaps they used other scare tactics. Maybe claiming that this discussion is some sort of obscure ruse to get his/her address, find out who they are, or other such nonsense. Or maybe Aspiring Academic Scientist was just ordered to shut up.

However it happened exactly, it is once again OHSU that refuses honest dialog. OHSU uses some convenient excuse to justify its unwillingness to answer serious questions from the public. OHSU is unwilling to defend the value of their animal based research in the face of compelling scientific data that using animals to advance human health is outdated, misleading, wasteful of our public tax dollars, and harmful to people. If this is true, I believe everyone would agree that such research should then be terminated, and resources reallocated elsewhere - except of course for the people who have a vested financial interest in keeping it going.

FYI 21.Jul.2005 11:42

/*?*/

CC: IT is my understanding, which comes from an insider, that it is Gary Granger, head of OHSU Public Safety, along with Jim Neuman (sp?), public relations, who are pulling many behind the scene strings, erecting roadblocks and issuing orders.

To Jason, Concerned Citizen. Also, To Neuroscience 21.Jul.2005 16:54

(open-minded) OHSU employee/training scientist

Jason,
There have been some accomplishments. I certainly do not have a list, but for one, anti-depressants do help traumatized individuals. One, was the neuroscientist who replied to me earlier, discussing her childhood trauma (please dig up the comment "To neuroscientist in training/OHSU employee - 7/13, 15:42). I also spoke with a good friend who works with traumatized individuals/abuse victims, and he told me of a few who can't make it through the day without their meds. To the best of my knowledge, these drugs cannot be developed without the primate model.

Now, we can debate the efficacy and morality of anti-depressants: In the greater picture, are they helping humanity??
-Are they helping enough people to warrant all the research?
-Are they too addictive to the point where individuals are worse off (ie. from trauma victim to drug addict)?
-Do they circulate among people who do not need them?
-Should phamaceutical companies be making huge profits off these drugs?!?

The moral answers should be obvious to everyone, but, AGAIN, I ASK ANY NEUROSCIENTISTS TO DEFEND THE EFFICACY OF THIS RESEARCH!! GRAD STUDENTS, POST-DOCS, TECHS, ASSISTANTS JANITORS, INFORMED PERSONS, if the PI's won't stand up then someone's got to. And if they can't, well then there's your answer.
If research of this nature is not kept in check, then basic science will become a runaway train, wasting money and life. And pharmaceutical companies will continue fund crap research.

I am extremely dissapointed in the neuroscientists, in not addressing or avoiding certain topics. I, and others have asked numerous times to address this issue of junk science. Everytime I have narrowed the examples down to make for an easier response. Now how about just one - stress research. CAN ANYONE JUSTIFY THE PURPOSE OF STRESS RESEARCH?

--
There are other examples of animal research benefiing humanity. Yes, some, such as AIDS and cancer may seem like a dead end - there may never be a cure, and we may never fully understand the mechanisms. But there have been positive developments - chemotherapy and tumor removal (I don't know if these required animal research). Also AIDS preventative drugs which slow progression probably came from animal research. There are also other examples of successful disease research which relied on the animal model. I was heavily anticipating Aspiring Academic Scientist's report to mention these. Alas, this is what I hope to study in the future - the biochemistry of diseases, and in my search for an effective, beneficial research lab, I will try to relay the good research to this discussion.

--

I applaude the efforts of those who have addressed animal research efficacy. I hope its worth something to those who care, that the constant reminders to researchers such as Dr. Bethea will have her questioning her research, and questioning the animal model. They can't help it, they are scientists. But, they will defend their research to the public, nonetheless. It is sad and true that the livelyhood of a scientist becomes an influence. It's too bad, because any real good scientist is able to shift their research or start a new lab. No need to be utterly dependent on some findings they are accredited to from years back.
However, once these efforts and thoughts permeate biological science enough, the top researchers will begin (and some already have) to address the pertinent issues. This is what it takes for a paradigm shift in science.

PDX indy: please place this in the comment area, as it is a reply to Jason' s comment. thanks.

Junk science? 22.Jul.2005 14:20

justice league

What do you mean by this? Please define junk. Pasted below is comment from above addressing cultural tolerance of investigations that may not have direct application. The tolerance appears limited by several factors including the ability to obtain funding.

The cost/benefit to society of basic discovery research has been debated forever.......your congressperson is probably blocking grants from NSF on birds or lizards or sexual behavior as we write. The high ground on that debate (which is older than most of you) is that we are a rich society and unknown benefits are derived from discovery research and it is in our best interests to support discovery research and if we have to err, it is better to err on the liberal side than on the censor side.

....... basic science which, to me, appears many times to be a misguided molecular scavenger hunt - perhaps within the context of molecular interactions it is not misguided, but in the context of applicability.

same answer. If the project is funded by NSF or NIH then it survived an extremely critical and rigorous review so somebody did not think it was junk. If you disagree with it, then do the work to get invited to sit on a review panel.

Some lose ends.
Do you think that we should resolve our problems with pharmaceuticals?
Depends on the problem. Diabetics need insulin to live. The same kind of permanent inability to make a needed chemical can occur in the brain.

Wouldn't a nicer treatment for tsunami victims be a helping hand in rebuilding their home, getting them back working, and comforting them??
All of this is nice, and should be done but it may not prevent onset of PTSD and it will not prevent the crippling symptoms of PTSD later in life.

Isn't this better than giving them a drug which they will become dependent on, which decreases the amount of money they have??
The little idea was to administer a one time treatment that could short circuit a cascade of phsyiological and psychological events leading to PTSD. There is nothing like this of course.

Don't you think Beatrice McConnell and other depressed people are better off with comforting support rather than addictive anti-deppressants?
BM and people with serious affective disorders do not respond to comforting support. The depression is usually due to a neurochemical deficit with a genetic component. The anti-depressant acts to replace what is broken, much like insulin replaces the missing insulin in a diabetic. Neither antidepressants nor insulin are considered 'addictive' even though a person may need to take them for life.

..... pharmaceutical companies drive unsafe drug production, as well as ineffective drug research. Their funding is merely an investment in profitable research

A lot of people have problems with the pharmaceuticl industry. Big pharm is big business. They are profit driven and the money comes from the sale of drugs. Oversight of animal use is by USDA. The use of animals during drug development reduces, but does not eliminate, risk to human and animal patients. In the late 50's, children all had mumps, measles and chicken pox which can become shingles in adulthood. We now vaccinate kids against those diseases and a host of others.

Do you think, however, that these grant review panels are stuck in short-sightedness, the "archaic dogma" mentioned earlier? I mean, because the animal model is so pervasive, they are persuaded by researchers so eager to continue work on their animal model of whatever - only because no other model has been presented (certainly a determined researcher will not present an alternative model when they are getting so much done with their present animal model).

We all harange the review panels for many many reasons. But I doubt that they are persuaded by anything but high caliber reasoning and solid evidence of feasibility.

why are the monkeys afraid of people? Could it be because of the harsh way they are handled?
not necessarily. Aggression is a normal behavior in monkeys, and a needed survival skill. This behavior is instinctively present in both captive and wild monkeys.
Some monkeys are born more aggressive than others. Rhesus macaques are extremely aggressive. Aggression does not always involve biting. It can be displayed as slapping, pinching, scratching, pulling hair, or various facial expressions. While you cannot train a monkey not to be aggressive, you can train yourself to understand their behavior, and what sets them off. Avoiding situations that are upsetting to a monkey will reduce frustration-induced aggression, or outbursts of rage. If a monkey is exhibiting aggressive behavior in a video, then it is probably provoked. Most adult monkeys show a great deal of aggression, and change naturally and dramatically in behavior from that of an infant.

Cynthia Bethea has refused to defend her position or note the value of her research.

This is all published. No need to repeat here. Please read all of her publications in which this is made extremely clear. They can be accessed at
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?DB=pubmed
Just enter the name Bethea CL and enjoy each and every one.


Post hoc
No one has jumped forward with an answer to Crash Dummy's suggestion that ARA physicians should come up with a cure for Ebola or Marburg viruses without the use of animals.

And finally to the posters with the angry angry antitudes and dirty mouths and limited vocabularies and closed minds and passive demanding uneducated footstomping for evidence accompanied by claims to be a 'researcher' --- time for a reality check ! People trained in research do not use this kind of language and they are trained to go hunt for answers, not whine about getting it fed to them. Your comments only convince us that you are mentally ill and in need of our research.

Dr. B 22.Jul.2005 14:33

<?>

Got it. Thank you.

Once again - Got any evidence? 23.Jul.2005 00:02

Concerned Citizen

same answer. If the project is funded by NSF or NIH then it survived an extremely critical and rigorous review so somebody did not think it was junk. If you disagree with it, then do the work to get invited to sit on a review panel.

reply:

What an absurd circular logic. If it was accepted, it must therefore be good otherwise they would not have accepted it. By that reasoning, any action is sound simply by the fact that it was taken. Just because you wrote some words, does not make it an answer, any more than just because something received funding it is useful.

How are Judy Cameron's studies helpful? When you have highly qualified professionals in the field that this research is supposed to benefit saying it is no benefit, and that it is hopelessly outdated, then a smug assurance that they are worthwhile studies simply because they are funded falls woefully short. Indeed, you have provided no answer at all, just an attempt to divert the question.

********

(certainly a determined researcher will not present an alternative model when they are getting so much done with their present animal model).

reply:

So please provide the evidence that they are getting something done. This seems to be going in circles. People ask for evidence. You say animal research is valuable, but provide no evidence. You say that there are medical advances, but provide no evidence to show that animal research plays a valuable role in that advance. I could say that there have been medical advances in the past decade, and people have been watching TV in the past decade, therefore watching TV is essential for medical advances. Just cause you say it, does not make it true.

Dr. Greek in his books provides a wealth of scientific data to back up his claims. So far, you have provided none. You can bluster, justify or ridicule all you want, but you still have not provided evidence. Why is it so hard?

A committee of the UK government invited both sides of the argument to present their case and determined that a compelling case was not made that a primate lab for brain research was in the public interest. This example negates the clear attempts by OHSU and other institutions to marginalize the debate.

To read more about that see -  http://www.whitecoatwelfare.org/cambridge.shtml

BTW, here is a link to a back and forth debate on an issue of the ecologist (It is a PDF)

 http://curedisease.com/Ecologist/Ecologist11_03.html

One thing I would mention. Dr. Simon Festing aggresively attacks Dr. Greek in this article and declares him a lone voice. This is not true. Some science-based organizations that oppose animal research are the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (www.pcrm.org), the Medical Research Modernization Committee (  http://www.mrmcmed.org), Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine (www.dlrm.org), and Dr. Greek's organization, Americans for Medical Advancement (curedisease.com)

OHSU can and seemingly will try to marginalize the debate, but eventually they will be forced to openly address the growing number of doctors and scientists who are asking the same questions.

50 DEADLY CONSEQUENCES OF LAB ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS

Here are the first 7 - visit this link to see the whole list along with references -  http://curedisease.com/Harms.html

1 Smoking was thought non-carcinogenic because smoking-related cancer is difficult to reproduce in lab animals. Many continued to smoke and to die from cancer.[2]

2 Benzene was not withdrawn from use as an industrial chemical despite clinical and epidemological evidence that exposure caused leukemia in humans, because manufacturer-supported tests failed to reproduce leukemia in mice.[1]

3 Animal experiments on rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, monkeys, and baboons revealed no link between glass fibers and cancer. Not until 1991, due to human studies, did OSHA label it carcinogenic.[3][4][5]

4 Though arsenic was a known human carcinogen for decades, scientists still found little evidence in animals to support the conclusion as late as 1977.[6] This was the accepted view until it was produced in lab animals.[7][8][9]

5 Many continued to be exposed to asbestos and die because scientists could not reproduce the cancer in lab animals.

6 Pacemakers and heart valves were delayed in development because of physiological differences between animals they were designed on and humans.

7 Animal models of heart disease failed to show that a high cholesterol/high fat diet increases the risk of coronary artery disease. Instead of changing their eating habits to prevent the disease, people continued their lifestyles with a false sense of security.

Discovery Research 23.Jul.2005 09:49

cost

I understand the concept of discovery research, but at what cost? Certainly the ethics of this kind of vague searching shifts when depriving living creatures of life, liberty and health. I'm all for discovery research--in a test tube. To researchers, it seems, the animals are just something to cut up and observe.

sleep research 24.Jul.2005 03:02

man in the middle

Sleep research is an example where animals were used in ways that advanced scientific understanding of basic biology. Sorry I don't have the citations now. But I've heard tapes of symposia on this subject, from which I learned that animals were used to study the role that sleep plays in mammals. You couldn't get this knowledge from human studies, as it led to the deaths of subjects. It was learned from this research that sleep is essential to survival because of the regenerative role it plays in metabolism and tissue repair. There is a saying "no one ever died from lack of sleep." But as a matter of fact, mammals who are subjected to chronic, severe sleep deprivation WILL die from a sort of "wasting" disorder: They get and stay hungry all the time, but no matter how much they eat, they waste away.

Also, it was discovered in animal experiments that there is a chemical and neurological mechanism that accounts for the shutdown of the motor nerves in the sleep state. The existence of this mechanism was demonstrated in monkeys who had the relevant part of their brains zapped with electrical impulses. As I recall, the researchers were able to turn the effect "on" and "off," so that monkeys who were otherwise completely asleep, as demonstrated by steady breathing and REM state, were nonetheless induced to sleepwalk and engage in other physical movements while in the dream state.

I don't know how many "cures" this will lead to or how many human beings will benefit from this. (But that's usually the way it is with basic science research. Much the same could be said for, say, the invention of the microscope.)

not safe to assume 24.Jul.2005 14:22

Elaine Close

It's great to hear from someone at OHSU, "OHSU employee/training scientist", who has an open mind. What kind of scientist can't consider the possibility that they have been wrong?

Regarding the ridiculous assertion that the public has no right to demand evidence: I work for a publicly funded social service agency. There is absolutely no way we could year after year keep saying that we need money so we can help people without showing any quantifiable results. Every year when grants are applied for, we have to show specifically how many people we helped and how. This is typical for agencies that actually help people. The public is paying about 12 billion dollars a year for animal experimentation. OHSU and other animal experimenters are so arrogant and undemocratic that they think they are above public accountability. Additionally, how can they have credibility if they refuse to admit that ANY animal research project is misguided?

The discussion of the role of antidepressants in society is an important one but it is an aside from the central question of the efficacy of animal research and whether or not animal research was necessary in their development (It is also another aside from the question of why we are funding Judy Cameron to find out that orphaned children should be given substitute parents as soon as possible,  http://www.whitecoatwelfare.org/cameron.shtml)

The following is from Specious Science by Drs. Ray and Jean Greek:

"The animal model can otherwise botch medications too, with psychiatric ramifications. Many medications were tested on animals without apparent side effects, only to cause severe psychiatric disturbances in humans. Hallucinations occurred in patients given acyclovir, amphetamines, anticholinergics, antidepressants, antihistamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, isoniazid, ketamine, levodopa, methylphenidate, pergolide, and many other medications. Animal testing did not and cannot predict these things. As seen, beneficial research, which has actually helped people with mental illness, historically issues from nonanimal based research. As a direct result of the ineffectiveness of animal modeling of mental illness, clinical psychologists largely ignore studies on animals.

A study published in the November 1996 issue of American Psychologist reported that only 5.7 percent of clinical psychologist felt that completely banning animal experimentation would be detrimental to their practice."

And more from Drs. Greek, the following from Sacred Cows and Golden Geese:

"Another drug category, antidepressants, issued from clinical observation, not animal experimentation. Doctors administered iproniazid to tuberculosis patients to control secretions. The euphoria it caused suggested a new class of antidepressants ... Iproniazid provided the basis for monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Another example of dugs conceived for other purposes are the tricyclic antidepressants originally developed as antipsychotics."

Studying monkey behavior to learn about the human brain is becoming more and more ridiculous. Our ability to detect biological causes of mental illness has advanced dramatically through imaging technology and understanding of human genetics. For example, with PET scans we can look at the human brain in action, while the person is conscious and experiencing emotions. The social factors of mental illness can only be studied in humans, not in contrived monkey imitations of human social phenomena. And if monkeys really could model humans for psychiatric drugs, how could we know if they were working? We can take crude measurements but we can't ask them how they feel. We have recently been hearing that Prozac is linked to increased suicidality in children specifically. The effects of antidepressants on different types of humans vary so much. What can another species tell us about these subtleties?

"The history of the development of both the major antidepressants and the antipsychotic drugs points up the fact that major scientific discoveries can evolve as a consequence of clinical investigation, rather than deductions from basic animal [-modeled] research."
- J.M. Davis, Antipsychotic Drugs, in H.I. Kaplan, B.J. Sadock, 9 eds. Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, Fourth Edition. Baltimore, Williams and Wilkins, 1985.


Also regarding OHSU employee/training scientist's comments: As was mentioned earlier, it is not safe to assume that AIDS preventative drugs "probably came from animal research." In a recent response posted on indymedia to a letter from OHSU pr man Jim Newman, I wrote:

"Newman claims they have 'a unique, new strategy for developing a vaccine for HIV/AIDS'. This is very far from a useful outcome. They could ask the magic 8 ball if an experimental vaccine would work and call it a unique new strategy. For decades, animal researchers have failed to develop an AIDS vaccine that works in humans. In fact none of the AIDS- related breakthroughs or useful discoveries have come from animal-based experiments. This type of experimentation has only misled doctors and caused delays in life saving treatments. For example, the use of protease inhibitors in human patients was delayed for 4 years because they killed laboratory dogs. For years we have been hearing about HIV vaccines developed in monkeys. They have all failed in people. The bottom line is that monkeys don't get AIDS. How can we possibly find a cure for a disease using an animal that does not get the disease?"

"Far too frequently animal models have been used to develop vaccines that are effective in animals but are ineffective or worse, harmful in humans. AIDS is a terrible illness, and research money and personnel need to be directed toward methodologies that are viable. Using an archaic methodology like animal models to combat a 21st century disease is more than foolish, it is immoral" -Dr. Ray Greek

Protease inhibitors eventually went on the market DESPITE their poor results in animal tests. In response to the above statement by "room with a view" that animal screening reduces the risk for humans by showing harmful effects of drugs, drugs that harm lab animals go on the market all of the time. Of course "room with a view" will probably say I am not qualified to discuss this issue. Yet when animal researchers are offered a debate with a thoroughly credentialed colleague who disagrees with them, they decline.

"How fortunate we didn't have these animal tests in the 1940s, for penicillin would probably never have been granted a license, and possibly the whole field of antibiotics might never have been realized" - Alexander Fleming

"Our addiction to animal research provides us with faulty information about AIDS and drugs intended for humans, who differ physiologically from other species."
-Laurence E. Badgley, M.D


As for chemotherapy and tumor removal, scientists, even animal experimenters are admitting the current and historical failure of cancer research with animal models. As I believe was mentioned before, researchers quoted in a recent Fortune magazine article discussed the failure of translation of mouse research to humans. This article also discusses the probability that potentially effective cancer drugs have been discarded because they failed in the animal model. Following are quotes from this article.

"And it's been well known for more than a decade, maybe two decades, that many of these preclinical human cancer models have very little predictive power in terms of how actual human beings-actual human tumors inside patients-will respond... A fundamental problem which remains to be solve in the whole cancer research effort, in terms of therapies, is that the preclinical models of human cancer, in large part, stink" -Robert Weinberg, professor of biology at MIT and winner of the National Medal of Science for his discovery of the first human oncogene and the fist tumor-suppressor gene.

"If you look at the millions and millions and millions of mice that have been cured, and you compare that to the relative success, or lack thereof, that we've achieved in the treatment of metastatic disease clinically, you realize that there just has to be something wrong with those models." -Homer Pearce, former head of cancer research and clinical investigation at Eli Lilly, currently research fellow at Eli Lilly

And some more quotes related to cancer research:

"The discovery of chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of human cancer is widely heralded as a triumph due to the use of animal models... However, there is little, if any, factual evidence that would support these claims... Indeed, while conflicting animal results have often delayed and hampered advances in the war on cancer, they have never produced a single substantial advance in either the prevention or treatment of human cancer."
-Dr. Irwin Bross, in testimony before the U.S. Congress

"In the conduct of the largest research laboratory in America for many years, I have not used an animal. It is my earnest belief that the use of animals has been... utterly barren of results in progressive medicine."
-E.M. Perdue, M.D., Director of Johnson's Pathological Laboratory in Cancer Research at the time of this quote

"Giving cancer to laboratory animals has not and will not help us to understand the disease or to treat those persons suffering from it"
-Dr. Albert Sabin

"The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse...We have cured mice of cancer for decades and it simply didn't work in humans "
Dr. Richard Klausner, former director of the National Cancer Institute.

And regarding the sleep study comment:

"I don't know how many "cures" this will lead to or how many human beings will benefit from this. (But that's usually the way it is with basic science research. Much the same could be said for, say, the invention of the microscope.)"

Well that is indeed the way basic science works, things are discovered that might be interesting, but the question that needs to be asked is, are these things useful? Basic science, as conducted at OHSU, is actually quite different than the discovery of the microscope. That discovery has been immeasurably useful to humanity.

A Concept 24.Jul.2005 16:35

better ways

I had a friend with AIDS during the first clinical trials of protease inhibitors. He had great difficulty getting into the study because they wanted people who were HIV positive, not those with full-blown AIDS. He told me they were afraid he would die and ruin the results of the study.

With persistance, he did get his protease inhibitors and they prolonged his life by a good decade.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who would take experimental drugs with full knowledge. Some of these people may be greatly benefitted from the experience.

In a much more mundane example, my husband volunteered to participate in a study to get FDA approval for an increased level of already prescribed cholesterol medicine (he won't take my advice and become vegan). There are many better ways to do things than to inflict pain and suffering on those who can't consent.

Are we so superior? 25.Jul.2005 18:19

Lynn

I have worked in a teaching hospital and saw that teaching staff's longevity depended on the research dollars they brought in. So of course they were highly motivated to preserve their lifestyle and think up all kinds of ways to bring in the dollars. So don't believe for a minute that this these experiments are about improving the quality of life of mankind. It's all about scrambling for money.

Are we so superior that we have the right to inflict these invasive procedures on these intelligent, social animals? No. It's moral or it's not. If you wouldn't do it to a man, you don't do it to an animal.

No government agency has the right to award my tax dollars in a grant to fund these types of cruel experiments.

why the researchers won't debate Ray Greek 26.Jul.2005 06:55

Alphonse

Imagine if you will a group of vegans who conceive the idea of trying to convince people that ALL flesh eating without exception is harmful to human health. They must compile a compelling and imposing body of research and arguments to support such a sweeping claim, of course. So they hire as their "research scientist" a one time highschool nutritionist, the sum total of whose academic "research" consists of eight letters to the editor of various food and nutrition journals, denouncing meat. They offer an open invitation to the world's sushi chefs to debate them on his premise. The title of the debate will be, "Is sushi killing you?" The sushi chefs politely decline. The vegans never tire of reproaching and ridiculing the chefs for their "timidity."

Please read more about Dr. Greek's (he's an anesthesiologist without a single research paper to his name) controversial and dubious arguments:  http://www.animalrights.net/archives/related_topics/people/pro_ar/g/ray_greek.html

important to check your sources 26.Jul.2005 12:50

reader

animalrights.net is run by Brian Carnell, someone with no background in science and is nothing but a neocon cheerleader who enjoys the fact that animals are killed, that animal rights activists are being dragged before grand juries, and abhors the progress made my women's and gay rights groups. Not exactly someone you want to use to support your case.

Attack the messenger if you like... 26.Jul.2005 13:19

Alphonse

But the stuff there on Greek is pretty well sourced and mostly ad hominem-free. For instance:
 link to www.animalrights.net

Carnell may not be a medical researcher, but unlike Greek, he has not set out to make sweeping, heterodox claims on a vast, wideranging terrain of biomedical research, unlike Greek. So Carnell's "credentials" are really irrelevant to the discussion.

Dr. Greek has written scholarly, researched books... 26.Jul.2005 13:39

thinking clearly

not sure what the point is of saying "he hasn't published research papers!" (you would prefer that he had used monkeys in this research, I gather) or whatever the claim is. If you want to do it that way, Cynthia Bethea and Martha Neuringer are PhDs, not MDs - they have never helped a single living person with their medical issues, as doctor Greek has in his profession as an MD. So I guess that means that Bethea and Neuringer can't speak to human health (and the value of their own research on this), they can only speak to the circular logic of their own research.

By the way, the training of an MD is both more rigorous, and practical in terms of evaluating human health, than that of most PhDs, but perhaps that's another topic.

your "clear thinking" not so "clear" to me 26.Jul.2005 14:21

Alphonse

Greek is making statements that range over a vast field of academic research, and declaring whether or not in each and every such field certain methods (animal experiments vs. some other methods) are most appropriate or conducive to yielding results that advance the state of medical art and science. As a matter of fact, it is your own logic that is contradictory. If you subscribe to the notion that animal experiments are unnecessary, then why on earth would you expect anyone to demand that Greek have engaged in research based on animal experimentation? Wouldn't it make more sense to expect that he had engaged in research based on NON-animal techniques, such as the ones he proposes replacing them with? Very few doctors would have the temerity to claim expertise in so many research fields that they had never produced any work in.

You're trying to divert this into some kind of pissing contest between medical doctors and PhDs. But I doubt most medical doctors would subscribe to such a thing. Most of them are pretty deferential towards researchers, out of humility. They know all too well how limited any one person's abilities are to master any specialty, let alone the vast range of specialties that comprise modern medicine.

Many people write books that appear to laypeople to be "scholarly, well researched," but upon examination by specialists appear little more than propaganda hackjobs. (Consider, for example, Bjorn Lomborg, "The Skeptical Environmentalist").

response from observer 26.Jul.2005 17:41

open minded OHSU employee

alphonse,

I believe Thinking Clearly was sarcastically mentioning that YOU might have hoped Dr. Greek used animals in order to discredit him.

Thinking Clearly brings up an excellent point, actually. The difference between a PhD and MD is an important distinction for this debate, and an important distinction in diagnosing the ills of humanity. Many PhD's have little idea about the true nature of the problem (i.e. to what extent it is occuring in society and what may be the best solution) they are trying to assist in solving. Mostly they know about the details of their scientific research, and many times use repetitive rhetoric when addressing the applicable issue. Perhaps they are not fit to discuss the ethical issue of animal experimentation because of this. Especially when they make comments like "animals do not have rights."

However, to add, there is effort in the scientific community to merge medical and scientific knowledge. There now exists an MD/PhD program. In addition, there are biomedical research programs for clinicians to orient them towards the research world. People are not too limited, we just need a new format to teach them.

response to "justice league" 26.Jul.2005 21:14

open-minded OHSU employee

justice league (please do not respond with this name, it is embarrasing),

I'm sorry, but I am not convinced.

You, and most other researchers stand in the position that NIH is some all-knowing power, cognizant of all factors and consequences of what it gives birth to. The reviewers on NIH panels, to my knowledge, are the primary investigators who are completely engulfed in the system of biological science research. These are individuals such as Dr. Bethea or Dr. Cameron or my father, or any PI high in ranks and knowledge of the field. When they judge an incoming grant, they are judging the basic scientific worth, not the applicability to society. They are judging whether the experiments will work and will futher future research, NOT if the results will prove beneficial to those in need. In terms of the applicable worth, all the PI writes is 'Understanding the mechanism of this drug is essential for pharmacotherapy.' Reviewers judge the PI's data and logic in unraveling the mechanism, but who judges pharmacotherapy??? Who judges whether understanding the mechanism is essential to help those suffering?
Understanding the mechanism creates a plethora of drugs for trial, only to see if they work after widespread administration. This does not seem to be efficient, and I am doubtful there are investigators addressing this.


ME: Do you think, however, that these grant review panels are stuck in short-sightedness, the "archaic dogma" mentioned earlier? I mean, because the animal model is so pervasive, they are persuaded by researchers so eager to continue work on their animal model of whatever - only because no other model has been presented (certainly a determined researcher will not present an alternative model when they are getting so much done with their present animal model).

YOU: We all harange the review panels for many many reasons. But I doubt that they are persuaded by anything but high caliber reasoning and solid evidence of feasibility.

Again, all you need is high caliber reasoning and solid evidence of feasibility of how your experiments will provide desired scientific results. No applicability need be justified.

--
ME: Don't you think Beatrice McConnell and other depressed people are better off with comforting support rather than addictive anti-deppressants?
YOU: BM and people with serious affective disorders do not respond to comforting support. The depression is usually due to a neurochemical deficit with a genetic component. The anti-depressant acts to replace what is broken, much like insulin replaces the missing insulin in a diabetic. Neither antidepressants nor insulin are considered 'addictive' even

This is absurd - they are considered not addictive by the people who develop and administer them. If you ask me, someone who can't live without antidepressants, and becomes depressed without their drug, is addicted to it. Just like heroine addicts become addicted to methadone. It also seems that, in general, understanding the mechanisms of addiction leads to drugs that save someone from addiction, which gives anyone a worry-free excuse to use addictive drugs! If addiction neuroscientists cannot deny this, then they must admit they are part of a vicious cycle supported by pharmacotherapy.

--
Junk science = unneccesary research, especially research that defines the obvious. Also research that has value only in it's intellectual fascination.

Infant formula research, Cigarette smoking is addictive (Dr. Bethea's neighbor thinks it would be great if pregnant mothers could smoke! Get rid of the cigarettes!), Cocaine addicts smoke more cigarettes when they're high, Maternal separation is bad, Effects of starvation on the brain...

--
Stress:
I think the animal model of stress is near worthless. Can any researcher explain to me how restraining a rat will provide any kind of insight into the stress of a human??
Is there really a good animal model for PTSD? You would have to put a monkey in the face of a tsunami or in warfare to mimic what a human experiences. The memory and physical experience must play an essential role in the cause of PTSD. And, to me, even memory research using animal models is a dead end. Furthermore, is an animal in artificial settings a good model of a human? 12hrs light, 12hrs dark all year round? Any animal raised in thise conditions will not make a good model of the human experience. So, just because research on "NHP [is] the best model for human neural function" doesn't mean it's a good one. It is apparent that we should put more money and effort into developng technology that investigates the human brain if we want to learn about the human brain.

--
YOU: Cynthia Bethea has refused to defend her position or note the value of her research.
This is all published. No need to repeat here. Please read all of her publications in which this is made extremely clear. [the web link] Just enter the name Bethea CL and enjoy each and every one.

Research publications are not written with the public in mind, they are for the scientific community, the one that makes up NIH review panels. You are revealing the egotistical side of scientist - this is not the type of person a training scientist would be inspired by or have respect for. Nor is an incompassionate person who would say that animals have no rights.

--
YOU: No one has jumped forward with an answer to Crash Dummy's suggestion that ARA physicians should come up with a cure for Ebola or Marburg viruses without the use of animals.

ARA physicians? Why not all scientists? Why not NIH? Wouldn't you agree that this would be the ideal situation? If the point is to minimize the use of animals...

--
It has been pointed out that this discussion may be a sidetrack to the pertinient issues of using animals for research. Some parts may be, but they are only supplement to the ethical issues. Those who have been arguing the ethical points should continue, those arguing the scientific side should continue.

and even more avoidance 26.Jul.2005 23:49

Elaine Close

Regarding the ridiculous comparison of a debate with OHSU to a debate about sushi, OHSU is not being accused of "timidity". They are accused of having no accountability to the public. They are accused of conducting experiments that cannot be justified.

They have been approached in the past by neutral parties who wanted to sponsor a debate because this issue is so controversial. They were offered whatever setting would make them comfortable, a neutral moderator, etc. They refused. Debate as an event is not the only issue here. It is part of a larger picture of corporate welfare and the fact that OHSU never has to back up its claims.

Nothing has been said to actually disprove what Dr. Greek is saying. (and just FYI, he has conducted animal experiments.) Even if you decide to find some reason to dismiss him, what do you say to the cancer researchers who are saying animal research is not working? And how do you defend Judy Cameron's work? Should we pay her to use monkeys to see if social support helps children or should we fund social support for children?

Ray Greek 27.Jul.2005 09:26

Alphonse

Elaine: Ray Greek's work, of which you are so enamored, is not viewed as intellectually serious by people in research. His technique is exactly the same as people who write books against evolution. He takes things out of context to distort them, selectively reads and filters out anything that doesn't support his arguments, etc. I'm not saying that it might not be possible to build a strong case for his position that didn't suffer from such flaws. But I think that is what will be necessary. And THEN I think you will be able to nake the case that they are "hiding" from debate to "avoid accountability." But until then, I think it's more likely that they are "hiding" from debate simply because they don't see a credible debating opponent, and they don't want to enhance his credibility by paying him any attention.

Think about this way: Greek's thesis basically says: "All you guys and gals engaged in research that uses animals: Your life's work is all worthless!" That's a pretty big challenge! But then they read his stuff and are relieved, because it's nonsense. So he's not a credible threat to them, except in the eyes of animal rights activists. So they'd rather ignore him and let him howl in the wilderness than defend themselves against him and enhance his reputation.

dr. greek 27.Jul.2005 10:43

OHSU employee

I don't think his academic credibility is such a huge issue. In a superficial realm, it can be used against him. However, this is in part, a historical account - anyone who has thouroughly compiled the history of animal research is able to raise significant issues about it's efficacy. I also question Dr. Greek's debating (what I have read), but if he makes a point, it should be considered.

I also agree that OHSU would not debate unless they were forced to. There is no point for them to waste their time if they don't have to. 'And why should WE? OHSU is part of a scientific community. If other institutions don't have to debate, why should we have to?' (made-up quote).

Give Us A List Of Those You Find Worthy Of You 27.Jul.2005 11:41

Waiting For Your Reply

Okay, if not Dr. Greek then who would OHSU be willing to enter into a debate with? Am certain they would find fault with anyone the AR community would select, so who does OHSU feel is an intellectual equal that would be a worthy opponent for such a debate?

history vs. current events 27.Jul.2005 12:03

Alphonse

I would agree with you that there are historians of science who can make good points without having to have specifically "scientific research" credentials. Sometimes that sort of "detachment" is probably also useful. I realize a lot of Greek's points DO relate to "history of science" type issues. And yes, why would people who are being challenged so boldly about their entire life's work pick up the challenge if they could avoid it? It's not pleasant to be told to your face that your work is "worthless." People who want to see it happen will have to raise the public profile of these challenges a lot more first. But I also think that, if and when it does happen, it would be helpful to have a much more narrowly focused, rigorous approach. I'm doubtful that Greek's qualifies on that score. (For example, focus narrowly on just a few, really egregious, vulnerable cases of CURRENT, unnecessary and bad scientific research that used animals cruelly.) I think this would end up being much more effective than scattershot broadsides against the whole institution.

Alphonse 27.Jul.2005 12:25

Concerned Citizen

Dr. Greek is taken seriously, and he is a serious scientist. You want to disparage his character because you have no other significant argument. Might he be wrong about point C or F? Sure, but overall, his positions are sound, and are shared by hundreds of other doctors. He is not the only doctor who would debate OHSU. If they do not want Dr. Greek, then someone else can easily be found. OHSU would always find an excuse not to debate. It has nothing to do with the credibility of Dr. Greek.

Of course researchers in the animal research field will say they do not take him seriously. It is in their vested interests to marginalize him. However, he and other scientists were certainly taken seriously in the Cambridge example cited about. You seem determined to attack the character of Dr. Greek, but that is again an avoidance of the basic issues.

From -  http://www.curedisease.com/survey2004.htm

Patient advocacy group Europeans For Medical Advancement commissioned pollsters Taylor Nelson to conduct a survey of 500 General Practitioners asking their opinion on animal testing and its relevance to their practice of treating human diseases. The poll, conducted in August of 2004, revealed a significant change in attitude on the part of practicing physicians toward the traditional medical community's reliance and trust in the efficacy of animal testing.

Of the general practitioners polled:

82% were concerned that animal data can be misleading when applied to humans.

51% would have more confidence in human-based safety tests for new drugs than in animal safety tests.

83% would support an independent scientific evaluation of the clinical relevance of animal experimentation.

*********

Animal research supporters such as yourself want to frame those who ask questions about the relevance of animal based research as marginal, and you repeatedly attack the character of those people, but the example of Cambridge, and this survey indicate otherwise.

It is inertia, and vested self interest of a multi-billion dollar industry that keep it going, not good scientific method, or concern for the welfare of humanity.

If you were to stop attacking the character of people questioning the efficacy of the animal model, you would have nothing left to defend your position because you cannot defend the research of Judy Cameron, or Martha Neuringer, or Eliot Spindel who is still cutting up baby monkey's as part of his research into the effects of nicotine. This is while a local, and successful smoking cessation program has its budget slashed.

Read the IACUC rules

(e) A proposal to conduct an activity involving animals, or to make a significant change in an ongoing
activity involving animals, must contain the following:
(1) Identification of the species and the approximate number of animals to be used;
(2) A rationale for involving animals, and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers of
animals to be used;
(3) A complete description of the proposed use of the animals;
(4) A description of procedures designed to assure that discomfort and pain to animals will be limited
to that which is unavoidable for the conduct of scientifically valuable research, including provision for the
use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs where indicated and appropriate to minimize
discomfort and pain to animals; and
(5) A description of any euthanasia method to be used.


(4) A description of procedures designed to assure that discomfort and pain to animals will be limited
to that which is unavoidable for the conduct of scientifically valuable research

if the same data can be obtained through another method, then it is avoidable. This is the case with the redundant Neuringer study on infant formula. I would say it is illegal under current law. If the IACUC were doing its job and not just a rubber stamp much of this wasteful, useless research would stop right there, both because it is avoidable, and because it is not scientifically valuable to human health.

wait a minute 27.Jul.2005 13:23

reader

"I'm doubtful that Greek's qualifies on that score"

Alphonse, have you even read Dr. Greek's work? If so can you please provide any challenges to the claims Dr. Greek makes? If not, what exactly do you think qualifies you to make judgments on his work?

"That's a pretty big challenge!"

Indeed it is, but just because something is a big challenge does not mean it is wrong (think Pasteur or Galileo, and this isn't even nearly that revolutionary a claim).

"But then they read his stuff and are relieved, because it's nonsense."

Of course, the human mind can rarely handle having one's life work called into question. No human is capable of thinking of themselves as evil. Do you think torturers ever see themselves as evil? No, they are simply doing what they think is appropriate given their model of the world. So of course they'll see it as nonsense just as slaveowners in the US saw claims that "blacks are human" as nonsense, just as US military torturers view claims that "muslims treated as enemy combatants should not be tortured" as nonsense. It is always in the best interest of the oppressor to dismiss out of hand any evidence of that oppression.

So the question is not what animal experimenters think of Dr. Greek's work. The question is what do you think about it, assuming you've read any of his work at all. Do you think there are problems with his research and if so, can you provide evidence to support your claims (perhaps from scientists and not neocon cheerleaders). If not, again, what qualifies you to make judgments on his work?

not an experiment "supporter" 27.Jul.2005 13:28

Alphonse

I'm not a "supporter of animal experiments," nor do I get paid to play one on tv. I have no vested interest in the matter at all, and I'd be happy to see the OHSU guys agree to a debate. But since Ray Greek is so often cited as the champion of the "all animal experiments are worthless" argument, and since that is a very strong claim, it's only natural that his work gets scrutiny, and any flaws in it are magnified by the very bold position he has staked out. When you want to put forward such a bold, heterodox argument, it really helps to have very meticulous work behind you to back it up. He may be a very nice person, but I don't think Greek has the goods in this case.

You are citing some specific, maybe particularly egregious cases. I don't know much about them. But as I said before, that sounds like a more effective line to pursue. It would be great if people who are most committed to this issue were able to raise the profile of the most egregious cases enough to force OHSU to debate the subject. Maybe then, it would be possible to force them into addressing the issue of why they don't agree to round-the-clock camera monitoring, for instance, to ensure compliance with animal welfare regulations. If there really have been major abuses, then that strikes me as an eminently reasonable proposal. If OHSU gets enough heat for past or current misconduct, they might even feel compelled to agree to such a thing, in order to defuse the controversy.

. 27.Jul.2005 13:40

S

Alphonse - Another armchair quarterback, criticizing those who are doing while he sits doing nothing.

Actual Photograph from a so called Isolation Torture Area. 27.Jul.2005 14:18

DryBeaver

I am a true employee OHSU of 30 years. As part of my job, I access the Primate Center monthly with unlimited free will to roam. I am an amature photographer, I carry my camera everywhere I go with no questions asked - ever!!! Everytime I enter the Primate Center, I have to ask myself why I can't live such a tortured life. There is an acre of wide open savanna with lots of grass and many items to climb and chase around on. This open savanna is populated by many individuals if not hundreds - Adult Males, Females and Babies. All showing natural characteristics inherent with what primates do. Now if I was to compare this with the human state of being that we all exist in now? I would think we would all find that it us, the humans that live out of context with what our existence should truly be. To debate, or to judge this issue is truly paradoxical. As a photograher, if I were to happen upon something out of the ordinary, perplexing, bizarre, or just an outright train wreck! I would have to photograph the image to share with the world. So, for those of you that believe no good can come from inside the Primate Center, this photo is for you, from inside the Primate Center - you be the Judge!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: wait a minute 27.Jul.2005 15:29

Alphonse

Fair enough. I do know of some reviews of his work in academic journals. Give me a couple days to get over to the library and dig them up.

Re: S 27.Jul.2005 21:35

Alphonse

Look, everyone picks their battles. My focus is not animal rights. But sometimes, it's useful to at least listen to someone who has some detachment from the issue. I'm skeptical of the "bad science" approach that seems to be so popular these days in ARA circles. I realize a lot of people get very angry to hear criticism. It can be bitter medicine. But I'm not the only one saying this -- there are some ARAs also making pointed criticisms of this approach as well. (cf.  http://www.vegetus.org/essay/aexp.htm)

To DryBeaver 27.Jul.2005 22:20

get real

Get real, dude. Everyone knows those are not the animals being used in research. OHSU itself states that 75% are housed socially. That leaves about 700 monkeys not housed socially. If you haven't seen Matt's tape, check it out.

O.k. So you have a camera. Check out the surgical suite. Check out the monkeys behind the locked door, and I know there are locked doors because I have heard reports from other OHSU employees as well as seen the door on the series KATU (I think) did--as well as seen behind the locked door on Matt's video. Provide us with photos of monkeys undergoing current experiments. We would all be thankful.

But if you want to pass this off as what we are criticizing, you just demonstrate why ARA's think the OHSU line is full of . . . baloney.

Hey, "DryBeaver" - 27.Jul.2005 23:49

uh huh

why don't you take some pictures, too, of when they round up the outdoor monkeys (which is not all of the monkeys, you know) - by scaring them into tunnels in which they fall all over each other in terror and confusion, and then get thrown into cages at the other end. (Other poster - 75% of the monkeys are not outdoors, only some of them). Also, take a picture of the outdoor monkeys in the Oregon winter when these animals are huddled together, freezing and miserable. They hardly use the sheds, it's so unnatural. These are tropical animals forced to endure the Pacific Northwest.

Here are some pictures of monkeys at OHSU. (And just think, if Matt hadn't gone in there, OHSU and this person would be denying this reality exists at all)...
a real torture chamber, at OHSU
a real torture chamber, at OHSU
at OHSU
at OHSU
sick baby, unnaturally separated from her mother, at OHSU
sick baby, unnaturally separated from her mother, at OHSU

the world is not black and white 28.Jul.2005 12:37

Jason

Alphonse

Look, everyone picks their battles. My focus is not animal rights. But sometimes, it's useful to at least listen to someone who has some detachment from the issue. I'm skeptical of the "bad science" approach that seems to be so popular these days in ARA circles. I realize a lot of people get very angry to hear criticism. It can be bitter medicine. But I'm not the only one saying this -- there are some ARAs also making pointed criticisms of this approach as well. (cf.  http://www.vegetus.org/essay/aexp.htm)

You assume people are just blindly following some dogma. You have bought into the mainstream characterization of animal rights activists as rabid fanatics.

I got news for you, animal rights activists talk about these things, open mindedly discuss these things and can make their own choices and decisions. That article you link to can easily be addressed and a focus on the scientific argument defended. The article also makes some false assumptions, and is too limited in an either or mentality. I'm not going to bother to go into it much because from your posts I do not believe you have an open mind for discussion.

There is plenty of room for both. People who feel moved to focus on the moral arguments, or focus on the scientific validity, or do both. They are not conflicting. Additionally, as bizarre as it may seem to you, there are plenty of people who focus on the scientific argument WHO ARE NOT ARA's. There are a broad and diverse range of people from different backgrounds. Your thinking is crude and without nuance. Lumping people into dichotomous camps. Same old if you are not with us you are against us bullshit.

Read the tragic life story of a 28.Jul.2005 17:20

observer

primate inside OHSU, from one who witnessed it:

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/07/321993.shtml

The researchers and their supporters try to wash away the fact that these are thinking, feeling individuals who are being tortured, not inanimate objects. They are the "subjects" of their own lives, not the "objects" that researchers try to turn them into.

I realize a lot of people get very angry to hear criticism. 28.Jul.2005 19:54

S

You offer nothing new. Animal rights activists have been discussing these things for years. There are differing approaches, and mostly people accept each other and get on with their work.

You think you are God's gift to the ARA and that you are offering some new as yet unconsidered critique. It is this arrogance that annoys people, not views that are well known and discussed openly for years. It is also annoying for people who want to discuss the scientific validity to have you trying to interrupt their conversation with some researchers and scientists because you have a passing fancy that they should be doing something different.

Tell you what, you go accomplish something with the method you are espousing, then maybe people will listen to you. Until then, it is unlikely that they are going to appreciate someone who doesn't even do work in the animal rights field, with no experience or background, trying to tell them what to do.

slipping away 29.Jul.2005 16:26

open minded ohsu employee

This debate is deteriorating. It is turning into a "discussion" of activist tactics and philosophy (of which there are numerous interesting and productive ideas in the "discussion" section. However, the more side-tracked the discussion gets, the further away from the main debates we get, and the less likely the professionals on the stand will reply. There are well-formed arguments (scientific and ethical) from earlier which have not been responded to, or are still being debated, which I urge the academics to continue working on.


It seems that if a picture of the open areas (dry beaver's) can be displayed, then monitoring cameras can be used. I am upset that the academics have not even given an excuse as to why they won't put cameras up. Not even a fake excuse!! And that's easy - I could give you a mouthful.

There is little point to debating the credibility of Dr. Greek, or even activists, if OHSU/researchers are not involved. Its nice to think about why no one will debate with Greek or others, but it makes little difference until an OHSU researcher states why.

*Here's an idea for debating against brain scientists: find some molecular biologists who find the methodology of neuroscience to be absurd (they're out there!). Some molecular scientists find their own experiments much more sound and controlled for, compared to the much more subjective methods of neuroscience (especially behavioral neuroscience).

A heightened level 30.Jul.2005 08:44

Trixie

A new chapter was written last night. Stay tuned for places, faces, names and the details.

academic review of Greek & Greek's "Specious Science" 30.Jul.2005 13:03

Alphonse

Herewith is an academic review of Greek and Greek's most recent book. I had to manually reformat it from a pdf where all the numbers were encoded in some proprietary font that couldn't survive the translation into plaintext.

Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences : Vol. 59 January 2004

C. RAY GREEK and JEAN SWINGLE GREEK. Specious Science: How Genetics
and Evolution Reveal Why Medical Research on Animals Harms Humans. New
York, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2002, 288 pp. $26.95
Reviewed by ANITA GUERRINI, Ph.D., Department of History, University
of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California 93106-9410

In this book, C. Ray Greek, an anesthesiologist, and Jean Swingle
Greek, a veterinarian, offer what they claim is an examination of animal
experimentation from a purely scientific point of view. As the title indicates,
their conclusions do not support the use of animals in research--not surprising,
since the Greeks are well-known animal advocates. They are also the authors
of Sacred Cows and Golden Geese (Continuum, 2000), which closely resembles
the present book. In both books, the Greeks argue that animal experimentation
leads to results that are in most cases inapplicable to humans. Unfortunately,
their argument has developed no additional nuance. Their method is to
choose cases that fit their criteria and simply omit conflicting data. They
argue that while animal experimentation may have revealed useful information
in the past, progress has made it simply unnecessary; high-tech
techniques can replace animals at every level of research. Science, they say,
employs animal methods because the system is built to support this sort of
research, not because it is scientifically superior to other methods.

The Greeks begin Specious Science with a chapter on the philosophy of
science that can best be characterized as confused. The Greeks equate theories
with laws, and talk about something they call 'xiomatic-deductive reasoning,'
which looks like the hypothetico-deductive reasoning of most philosophers
of science. By referring to a hypothesis as an axiom, they make science seem
much more dogmatic than it is, which is perhaps their intent. Their discussion
of Karl Popper's concept of falsifiability ignores Popper's contention that
some theories are more testable than others and that no theory is completely
irrefutable.

The Greeks look at several examples of animal use in science: cancer and
blood diseases, surgery, drug testing, pediatrics, and brain diseases. In each
case, they conclude that animal models have positively hindered medical
progress in humans. How can they make this claim? In most cases, their use
of evidence is extremely selective. For example, they describe Fleming's
discovery of penicillin as pure serendipity, noting that he tried the drug on
rabbits in the 1920s but that it was ineffective. They attribute its eventual
adoption to his later last-chance use of it on a human patient. They fail to
mention the work of Howard Florey, Ernst Chain, and Norman Heatley,
who, by means of their experiments on mice, did far more than Fleming to
demonstrate penicillin's therapeutic potential. They cite lists of drugs withdrawn
from the market for various reasons, as evidence for the lack of
effectiveness of animal testing. But what of the hundreds of effective drugs
that remain on the market? The Greeks often argue in this manner, by
innuendo and omission. Although they are correct to assert that reliance
on the Rhesus monkey as a model delayed progress in the early years of
polio research, they go on to argue that this reliance 'resulted in a flawed
vaccine that causes disability and death' (p. ...). Although the Salk and Sabin
vaccines, both developed in monkeys, are not perfect, the near-eradication
of polio from the world testifies to the vaccines' effectiveness.

While the Greeks cite many references from the scientific literature,
they also rely heavily on antivivisectionist sources for their information.
Scientific literature is at times cited out of context, and the citation method
is inconsistent; page numbers are not always given. They mingle anecdotal
material, historical references, and scientific evidence, often in the same
paragraph, with no indication of the different levels of credibility.

As a longtime member and current chair of an Institutional Animal Care
and Use Committee, I am fully aware that animal experiments are not
always perfect models for human disease and that researchers can be driven
as much by competition and self-interest as by scientific motives. There is
certainly room for a reasoned and carefully argued book that looks critically
at animal experimentation. Unfortunately, this is very far from being
that book.
book review, SPECIOUS SCIENCE
book review, SPECIOUS SCIENCE

Re: the world is not black and white 30.Jul.2005 16:52

Alphonse

Jason wrote:
>Additionally, as bizarre as it may seem to you, there are plenty of people who focus on the scientific argument WHO >ARE NOT ARA's.

Could be. But they aren't going to the private homes of researchers and haranguing them with bullhorns. I'm unconvinced that there is any sincere desire on the part of AR activists to uncover "bad science." I think the "bad science" argument is largely disingenuous and a ruse to achieve political goals, and I find it distasteful for that reason -- even though I do think it's motivated out of a sincere and praiseworthy desire to prevent animal suffering. Let's leave ad hominem rhetoric out of this. I never called anyone "rabid fanatics," and I don't get my ideas from "mainstream characterizations", by which I presume you mean corporate media. I rarely read corporate media. I'd be very interested in seeing a sincere debate about this subject with animal researchers themselves. But I don't think that AR activists will succeed, because of deficiencies in their own approach, in prevailing upon researchers in engaging in such a thing with them. I do hope that someone else does!

"Blindly following dogma"? Well, yes, I think they have a dogma they find politically expedient to espouse at the moment. I'm NOT SURE if they themselves all necessarily embrace this dogma they tout publicly except for reasons of expediency -- though perhaps many do. But when challenged on their sweeping assertions, they tend to back down and say things like, "You're lying! I never said that ALL animal experiments are worthless!" They then demand to be given evidence of any that weren't, and claim they've never seen it. They say it is entirely incumbent on researchers to provide them with this.

Why don't I buy into this approach? Because, you can hardly expect people like "aspiring academic scientist" to engage them as long as the former folks do not feel that the engagement is actually going to be fairminded, as opposed to advancing a political agenda they disagree with. The highly selective, misleading arguments used by people like Ray Greek and other advocates of the "specious science" rhetoric can't give any confidence to researchers that this is anything more than a witchhunt against them for the sake of the Higher Cause of animal rights, rather than disinterested debate on scientific merits. And unfortunately, most of the rest of us are not in a position to condense the voluminous mass of scientific research and findings, together with practical results they have led to, down into a comprehensible argument for or against that research.

Although there may be people of the kind you have spoken, "people who focus on the scientific argument who are NOT ARAs", and there may be people like Greek, who "focuses on the scientific argument" and is an ARA, there have yet to appear on the scene any who unite all the following characteristics: "focus on the scientific argument," raise principled scientific concerns about specific animal experiments without engaging in unfair distortions to make their arguments, have some academic expertise, and have chosen to use it to successfully engage researchers in debate (that I'm aware of). And, given what I've seen of the rhetorical approach of AR activists, I doubt that anyone who came at things from such a perspective and reached any conclusion that didn't pretty uniformly condemn animal research would be thought kindly of.

I'm also troubled by the feeling that one motivation of the "specious science" rhetoric is the desire to "gild the lily," because, if you can get people worked up into believing that animal experimentation is a bunch of "specious science," then that makes it even easier to vilify those engaged in it. Afterall, their one defense for engaging in actions that cause suffering for animals is removed. "It ISN'T EVEN HELPING PEOPLE!" I can see why that would be a seductive rhetorical style for political purposes. I CAN'T see how it would lead to any sincere dialogue. (And, to be clear, the political purpose in question is of course not to end merely "specious science" experiments on animals, but ALL experiments.)

I support the desire to minimize the need for animal research and unnecessary suffering. But what constitutes "unnecessary" is an ethical and moral question, above all. There is a danger that in the course of making overly broad attacks against supposed "specious science," that the ethical questions are ignored or obfuscated.

In short, the "scientific argument" is distinct from the ethical one, as people have duly noted here. But the tactics and approach of the people who are currently most prominent in advancing the "scientific argument" are bound to fail, I think, for the reasons I cited, among others. (Hopefully, someone else will succeed in their place in actually stimulating such a scientific debate, where they have failed.) Whereas meanwhile, ironically, the real concerns -- animal rights or animal welfare -- that are foremost in the minds of most of those currently advancing this argument are left languishing.

To "Open Minded OHSU employee": Your idea of "sicking" the molecular scientists on the animal researchers is interesting, but problematic, because it's debatable whether what you're advocating would spur disinterested scientific debate, as opposed to just a turf war among self-interested researchers, who may afterall be vying for the same pool of limited funds. (Also, there is a longstanding pecking order and rivalry between the "pure scientists," who study physical things ever more abstract and far removed from actual living things, vs. the "applied scientists," who study whole systems. Usually, humanistic thinkers defend and align themselves more with the latter, and complain about the "reductionism" inherent in the former approach. What you have suggested would be an interesting case of politics making very strange bedfellows.) Maybe better than what you have suggested would be retired scientists, or scientists in fields that are not vying for funds from the same sources.

AIAA 30.Jul.2005 16:57

J

HA HA HA HA HA ---

The reviewer is "current chair of an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee". You may as well ask Nike to review a book about Nike's sweatshop labor practices.

Re: AIAA 30.Jul.2005 17:13

Alphonse

You wrote:
>HA HA HA HA HA ---
>The reviewer is "current chair of an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee". You may as well ask Nike to review >a book about Nike's sweatshop labor practices.

Completely false. The institution of Animal Care and Use Committees was a reform strongly pushed for by animal welfare activists in the 1980s, which made the institution of committees composed of a mix of people, including ethicists, other unrelated academics, and members of the general public -- and not just scientists with a personal interest in the research -- into a legal requirement in the United States. The author herself is an historian of science writing for a journal with the title "History of Medicine and Allied Sciences"

You're free to argue that the IACUCs have not been doing their jobs diligently. But you cannot conclude from such an argument that anyone on such a committee anywhere is, prima facie, colluding with researchers to promote "specious science," even though she otherwise has no appearance of any conflict of interest. That is what is known as a logical fallacy. It's like saying that anyone who has served on a jury must be tainted with "bias" against criminal defendants -- even though juries are required legally to be composed unbiased people -- simply because criminal defendants so often get railroaded by prosecutors.

To justice league 02.Aug.2005 01:43

open minded OHSU employee

alright, well,

My disbeliefs now may only be concerned with definitions, and may pertain only to a dissatisfaction with (some aspects of) the structure of modern society. So I will not provoke you guys too much more on this particular topic, but I will say this.
I understand how pharmacotherapy has benefited people - some if my earlier comments were an agreeable response to another OHSU employee who had suffered trauma and was relieved with short-term anti-depressant therapy, and similar cases described to me by my friend who works with abuse victims. I have worked with DD children and seen, in some cases, how chemical therapy has worked.

But I have qualms about the situation, and if you guys don't, then you may be contributing to the source of the problem (with or without knowing it).
-Aren't therapeutic drugs mind and mood elevating? On a relative scale, they can be compared to "street" drugs. Say someone has social anxiety and drinks or smokes or uses cocaine to function "normally". Perhaps you could explain how this is different than giving the person anti-anxiety medication for the same purpose. Forgive me, but I do not see the difference if such a person cannot "function normally" without it.

I hope you can see that I am not referring to extreme cases of addiction and mental illness. Application of my logic and opinions to these cases would create a negative perception of those in need.

----
Please respond to my comments regarding details of NIH funding, junk science, stress research. These topics have been brought up by others as well.

---
I, and I think many others are glad you're still responding.

such BS 19.Jun.2019 21:39

BS detector

At least 95% or more, of what animal researchers do, is just BS.
So this researcher is just a liar.
If I'm wrong, show me where "anything" of true value that has come from torturing animals, other than they feel pain, have emotions, are sensitive, love their babies and want to live.
I've read some of the reports and most of it was blacked out due to them not wanting the public to really know what happens behind the doors of torture and murder.