minor sniping

It’s interesting to me that taking even a skeptical stance on using animals – a stance that is the actual stance of many vegans – it’s interesting that one finds all sorts of places where people assume animals are objects to be used in the same way that religious figures can assume total authority on human morality. It’s not that they have no point. Even I can see that animal testing has potential benefits. But all kinds of really disturbing things our society rejects also have potential benefits. Like experimenting on humans in ways that damage them, even if the humans are rewarded.

Which bring me to the FDA panel review of a new, somewhat controversial weight loss drug. Now, I can see how some are very leery of trying such a drug themselves, when people like me won’t even test it on non-humans. Granted, the tests would look radically different, with the kinder and simpler human tests giving far better and more accurate results. That’s basically called the fancy field of statistical analysis, and it’s the gold standard for testing drugs. Animal testing is generally the backwoods cousin of science that the US government (uniquely in the west) mandates for drug approval. As a hint: the US doesn’t lead the forefront in getting new, effective drugs to market safely.

Here’s an interesting snippet:

Panelists also said they wanted to see more research on lorcaserin’s possible links to cancer. The drug caused a sevenfold increase in mammary tumors in laboratory rats. While the doses were far higher than human doses, experts said they were uncomfortable not knowing how to translate the findings to the human population.

The FDA’s own panel on drug acceptance does not feel comfortable with the results of animal testing, and wants to see clinical trials with humans first. Basically, rats don’t have a metabolism that overweight humans have. Which sounds right, because even skinny humans don’t have the metabolism and lose or gain weight the same way as an overweight human with heart trouble.

Tuesday ~ September 7, 2010 by b

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