By Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Millions of animals are torn open every year in laboratories because people – and those in government- feel safer knowing that almost everything that reaches us has been tested on an animal before.

The point is – does it make you safer? Imagine inventing a medicine for a bird. It is only tested on birds. Could it be given to a dog? Then why should medicine tested on a rat be given to a human?

The human body is extremely complex. Humans differ from other animals anatomically, genetically and metabolically, meaning data derived from animals cannot be extrapolated to humans with sufficient accuracy. When a drug, or other medical treatment, is developed, it must be tested in an entire living system. Using another species is using the wrong system. These basic differences, when applied to an entire biological system become even greater. Even when genetically modified, there is no single animal model that can accurately mimic the complex human situation. There are far too many unknown variables that cannot all be accounted for. Dr John McArdle, head of critical care in Hartford Hospital says: ‘Historically, vivisection has been much like a slot machine. If researchers pull the experimentation lever often enough, eventually some benefits will result by pure chance.’ Pre-clinical testing needs to be conducted in such a way that eliminates the risk of species differences.  Good, relevant, and efficient science is what we must ask for, because we get medicines faster and cheaper. How could drugs, or products, tried out on animal bodies possibly be predictors of their effect on human bodies?

Each year, more than 100 million animals—including mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birds—are killed in just U.S. laboratories for curiosity-driven experimentation, and chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics testing. Multiply this with every country including India, Nepal and Bangladesh.(India, by the way, has not got a single patent from any testing till date, nor discovered any cure to any disease. That doesn’t stop the government from earmarking 100 acres in Telengana to be used to grow animals for testing).

While scientists may gloss over their lakhs of failures, the factual history clearly shows that animal testing is not much more than a trial and error method. Throughout history, all experiments on animals for human benefit have failed miserably. They have taught us close to nothing about how certain drugs interact with human bodies, and have led to two possible outcomes – either humans are exposed to dangers not predicted in animals, or we are left wanting of important medical breakthroughs because they do not pass at the stage of animal testing.

Look at some statistics from the American Federal Agency for Food and Drug Administration. The Agency has officially stated that 90% drugs demonstrated to be successful in animal tests have failed at the stage of human trials. This means that despite animal tests, in almost all cases, humans have been exposed to drugs with huge potential risks to their health. This not only questions the efficacy and the fundamental argument for using animals, but critically raises the question about all the drugs that failed in animals which might have worked in humans. How many discarded cures exist that might have worked for cancer?

One of the most well-remembered examples of this is the Thalidomide disaster in the 1950s and ‘60s. Thalidomide was an over-the-counter drug that had been proven to be safe during animal testing and was marketed as a sleeping and anti nausea pill. Within a year thousands of babies (I personally know one victim in Delhi), delivered by women who had taken the drug, were born with severe defects such as missing or shortened limbs. These deformities were linked back to Thalidomide, and the drug was banned.

There are many such examples – Clioquinol, an anti-diarrheal drug was shown to be effective in rats, cats, dogs and rabbits, but caused blindness and paralysis when tried on humans; Methysergide, a medicine for headaches, caused the scarring of hearts, kidneys and abdominal blood vessels in humans despite having been demonstrably safe during animal tests. The list is endless.

On the other side of the coin, failed animal tests can also leave us bereft of potential discoveries leading to major medical progress. For example, positive pressure ventilation is an essential technique used to keep a patient’s lungs from collapsing during surgery. This technique was discarded initially as it had not worked on animals. When it was tried directly on humans it became a major scientific breakthrough.

The cage ball valve, used in heart surgery, has a similar story. Didn't work in animals but works on humans. Albert Sabin, the inventor of the polio vaccine, publicly stated that work on the vaccine was long delayed because of misleading experimental models of the disease in monkeys.

Here are statements made by medical and scientific professionals:

Regarding Fleming’s use of penicillin in a human patient, after finding it ineffective in rabbits and dangerous to guinea pigs and hamsters: “How fortunate we didn’t have these animal tests …for penicillin would probably never have been granted a license, and possibly the whole field of antibiotics might never have been realized.” – Howard Florey, co-discoverer and manufacturer of penicillin.

“Uncritical reliance on the results of animal tests can be dangerously misleading and has cost the health and lives of tens of thousands of humans.” – Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science.

In fact, most major discoveries that have come about without any animal testing involved. Heart pacemakers were never tested on monkeys. They were derived from experiments made to keep the electrical activity of the heart going during surgery on humans. Similarly, cardiac catherization for diagnostic purposes was only tested on a human body. Even the technique of bypass surgery was discovered by using a portion of a human’s vein to replace obstructed segments. Anti-foaming agents, that are used to stop blood from bubbling when oxygen is added, were developed to initially stop milk from foaming and were adapted to use in open heart surgery. The technique of cardiopulmonary resuscitation was devised by practicing on human cadavers. Anaesthesia was only first tried out on humans to show its success.

This is not to say that we should indiscriminately start testing on humans. There are new technologies that give far better predictive results than animal testing, such as  microfluidic chips and microdosing. These techniques analyse the effects of drugs on an entire human living system, eliminating error caused by species differences, and resulting in data that is relevant to humans. Systematic reviews, conducted in the areas of toxicity testing and biomedical research, have shown that alternatives are far more predictive of human outcomes than data obtained from animals.

In the past, much research has been based on animals because we didn’t know any better. Today we are far more aware of the dangers of extrapolating from one species to another and we have scientific research methods – mass spectrometry, genome mapping, innovative imaging techniques and highly developed computer models capable of simulating parts of the human body as mathematical equations and three-dimensional graphical models.

Terminally ill patients don’t care whether a cancer drug works on a mouse, or that some disease can be cured in another species. Such claims only taunt them with false hope. They need real cures based on real science – not misleading and antiquated animal experiments. According to the Scientific American magazine “To the 2.6 million people around the world afflicted with multiple sclerosis, medicine has offered more frustration than comfort. Time after time, researchers have discovered new ways to cure laboratory rats of experimental induced encephalomyelitis, the murine model of MS, only to face obstacles in bringing the treatment to humans.”

Not only are the new techniques more accurate. They are much cheaper. A non-genotoxic cancer risk test on an animal costs about $700,000, whereas the same test done in using an in-vitro method costs only $22,000.

However, despite these facts and available alternatives, the myth of the necessity of animal testing continues. This is perpetuated by those who profit from it, and also by those who have been conditioned into thinking it is true. It is time to start raising questions to the so-called ‘expert’ scientific community and policy makers. Why are we wasting billions of rupees killing millions of animals in testing when it isn’t leading to any medical advancement? Whose money is it? Whose health is it? 

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By Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Research has revealed that there is a colony of cockroaches on the moon, the descendants of the cockroach that went in Apollo 11. You don’t believe me? Didn’t you read it in the papers?  A magazine article? On WhatsApp? It is probably true, otherwise why would so many people write about it.

That is how the human mind works. When a person hears the same information several times, no matter how absurd it is, the mind starts convincing us of its truthfulness. WhatsApp forwards are a classic example of this, where, if misinformation is circulated a number of times, it takes on the status of truth. This is called the illusory truth effect.

Researchers, led by Liza Fazio at Vanderbilt University, have shown that when one hears something for the second or third time, the brain responds faster to it. This faster response is wrongly considered by the person to be a signal for the information being true. Gord Pennycook, a psychologist at Yale University, studies the spread of misinformation, and has shown through experiments that when participants were told something and then told the same thing the next day their familiarity with the news led them to rate it as being true. The frustrating truth about the illusory truth effect is that it happens to us unthinkingly. Even people who are knowledgeable about topics can fall prey to it, specially if it is reinforced by an equally lazy “mentor” type like a teacher/doctor/parent. In 2015, Fazio and co-authors published a paper that found that prior knowledge about a topic doesn’t inoculate you to the effect.

The illusory truth effect has been studied for decades. Typically, experimenters in these studies ask participants to rate a series of trivia statements as true or false. Hours, weeks, or even months later, the experimenters bring the participants back again for a quiz. On that second visit, some of the statements are new and some are repeats. And it’s here that the effect shows itself: Participants are reliably more likely to rate statements they’ve seen before as being true — regardless of whether they are. When you’re hearing something for the second or third time, your brain becomes faster to respond to it. “And your brain misattributes that fluency as a signal for it being true,” says Fazio “The more you hear something, the more you’ll have this gut-level feeling that maybe it’s true.”

People often pass on information without validating its source. The internet is full of amazing seeds that make you lose weight immediately, miracle hair oils and, of course, cancer cures. Studies have shown that fake information tends to circulate much faster than real information, and is remembered and believed by people for a longer period of time. This is especially true when the information encountered is in line with our beliefs or desires. E.g. immigrants are the cause of all social and economic issues, women are bad drivers, the British are responsible for all of India’s problems, drugs must be tested on animals before being ready for human consumption and so on.

Does that last one sound familiar? Many of you might be thinking “But of course drugs have to be tested on animals. Scientists have been doing so for 100 years, so it must be necessary.”

While we expect politicians to tell lies, no one exaggerates and twists truth as much as the so called scientist. 100 years later we are no closer to even discovering what causes cancer – much less what cures it. But tests on over 50 million animals go on annually and, in order to justify this , things are periodically put into the papers that a cure is just round the corner. We have not even been able to deal with teenage acne, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's – all of which are on the rise – but scientific misinformation goes on to keep us from questioning the huge amounts of money given by governments and charities to pay salaries.

Animals are completely different from humans –anatomically, genetically and metabolically – even their basic cellular structures. So, even if a particular medicine or procedure is effective or safe on an animal, it may have adverse effects on humans. Even more importantly, human diseases occur naturally, while experiments on animals involve an artificial re-creation of the disease in the animal, which is inevitably inaccurate. Giving a rat diabetes, by destroying its pancreas and then injecting it with drugs to see its effect on the disease, has no bearing at all on the human condition. Rats have been genetically modified to be cancer ridden. Not one experiment on them has shown the way forward to curing the disease in humans.

Data derived from testing on animals cannot be accurately extrapolated to humans. The American Federal Agency for Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that nine out of ten drugs, shown to be successful in animal tests, have failed in human trials. E.g. a drug named Cylert was passed through animal tests and proposed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. However, when administered to children it had disastrous effects, causing liver failure in 13 children, 11 of whom either died or had to undergo liver transplants. Vaccines tested on animals pass the tests. The same vaccines given to children in India have caused so many recent deaths.

Clearly, animal testing is not just a waste of time and money, it also has the potential of huge damage to humans.

The flipside is equally dangerous – there are drugs that fail animal testing but could potentially be very useful for humans. E.g. the path-breaking drug penicillin was found to be ineffective on rats and rabbits and had a deadly effect on guinea pigs and hamsters. Scientists were discarding it. However, since passing animal testing was not considered mandatory at that time, it was tested directly on humans and opened up the entire field of antibiotics for human welfare. Because the scientists are so stubborn about animal testing, there may be a number of potential cures that have never reached us.

Despite common sense telling us that a rat is not a monkey is not a human, animal testing has been mandatory for decades and is allowed, even encouraged, by non scientific people who falsely believe it to be useful. This is a real life example of the illusory truth effect.

New technologies have now been developed, which are more effective ways of predicting effects on humans. We have mass spectrometry, genome mapping, innovative imaging techniques and highly developed computer models capable of simulating parts of the human body, to name just a few. In-vitro experiments, using human blood and tissue to determine toxicity. have 2-3 times more accurate results than animal testing. Research on humans, such as clinical studies by analyzing a patient’s condition and responses to treatments, provide vital information, and have given us treatments for childhood leukaemia, thyroid disease, current HIV and AIDS therapies and many more. Similarly, autopsies have given critical information about human bodies and their interaction with a variety of drugs and procedures.

Even though we encounter new and valid information, we continue supporting the pointless practice of animal testing, under the false belief that it is useful to medical research. Scientists, universities and big pharmaceutical companies have been perpetuating this belief systematically for years, as it helps them accumulate huge research funding and cover up their inaction and inefficiency. Companies that earn millions selling harmful products like cigarettes, sugar, colas, genetically modified foods, polluting cars etc., benefit by influencing research and hiding the real effects of their products on people by saying that their products are safe based on ‘successful’ animal tests.

This age, more than any other, is, on one hand, victim to an overload of information, giving us little time to go into details. On the other, it is easy to expose fraud which has been posing as science. I would encourage you to read up on the failure and potential disasters of animal testing, because it is not about the animal’s life: it is about yours.

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By Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

When I bite into a bar of chocolate, I think of calories. I don’t think of rat hair and faeces. But perhaps I should.

The American Food and Drug Authority, the regulatory body for food standards in the United States, publishes something called the Defect Levels Handbook. This sets permissible limits for “natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans”. The contents of these ‘natural and unavoidable’ defects is probably to protect manufacturers from being sued.

The FDA Handbook allows the average chocolate bar (about 100 grams) to have one rodent hair in it. This 100 grams is also allowed to contain up to 60 insect fragments. Legally.

Insects – either whole, body parts, larvae or mites – are the most common permissible defect, allowed in 71 foods. You will find them in peanut butter, paprika, oregano, cinnamon, bay leaves and many more foods. Oregano can have up to 300 insect fragments, with ground oregano allowed up to 1250 fragments. Tomato juice is allowed to have 10 fruit fly eggs or one maggot for every 100 grams. About 20 maggots or 75 mites are permissible in 15 grams of dried mushrooms. 5% of a can of cherries can also contain maggots.

In figs, interestingly, the FDA specifically only allows insect heads – up to 13 heads for every 100 grams of fig paste. Why only heads? God knows! (Because the FDA probably doesn’t).

However, what the FDA does know quite clearly, is the number of insects and rodent hairs that would make the perfect combination in food. It allows every 100 grams of peanut butter to have up to 30 insect fragments and one rodent hair. 50 grams of cinnamon is allowed 400 insect fragments and 10 rodent hairs. Paprika can contain 75 insect fragments and 11 rodents hairs for every 25 grams.

Cinnamon, paprika, oregano, thyme, sesame seeds (til), fennel seeds (saunf), ginger and other spices often contain another ingredient – animal or mammal excreta. FDA allows about 20 milligrams of this in 1 kilogram of cocoa beans.  ‘mammalian excreta’ is another name for mouse faeces. Every kg of wheat is allowed to have an average of 9 faeces pellets. Even popcorn can have 1 pellet per subsample (the FDA handbook does not define the size of the subsample).

Mould, a type of fungus is also a commonly permitted contaminant in most fruit, vegetables, butters and jams. Up to 20% of paprika is allowed to be mouldy. 5% of a packet of bay leaves (tejpatta) and 3% of a can of frozen peaches is also allowed to have mould in it. Blackcurrant jam is high on the list, with 74% of it permissibly mouldy. Low levels of mould are also allowed in tomato ketchup, tomato juice and canned tomatoes.

If all this weren’t enough, the FDA handbook also has a provision for the presence of ‘foreign matter’ in select foods. This includes objects such as stones, sticks, jute bags and even cigarette butts! This, strangely enough, fits into “natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans”.

If you are appalled by the low quality demanded of American packaged food, let us shift the focus to our own country. The Indian version of the FDA is the FSSAI – Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. It follows similar standards but makes them so confusing that no one bothers to read them. Instead of putting them out clearly in one handbook, it hides them in different rules for different foods.

When describing permissible food defects, FSSAI uses a term called ‘extraneous matter’. This is defined as “any matter contained in an article of food which may be carried from the raw materials, packaging materials or process systems used for its manufacture or which is added to it, but such matter does not render such article of food unsafe”.

FSSAI does not clearly define permitted contaminants in one handbook or document. It is, however, hidden in the fine print of their numerous rules and regulations.

For instance, FSSAI requires de-shelled peanuts to only be ‘practically’ free from matter such as stones, dirt, clay etc. Further, 5% of the total packet is permitted to be damaged. 2% of most dry fruits and nuts can permissibly be ‘damaged or discoloured’ which includes damage by insects.

With dry apricots, FSSAI states that they should be free from living insects, but goes on to allow a ‘reasonable’ amount of insect debris, vegetable matter and other objectionable matter. Up to 3% ofsupari can also be damaged by mould and insects.

A packet of wheat flour (atta) can contain up to 2% ash. Paushtikatta (which means healthy or nourishing) can have a little more ash – 2.75%. Whole grains of wheat, maize, jawar, bajra, rice and most lentils including chana, rajma, moong, masur, urad etc. are permitted 1% extraneous matter, which includes 0.1% impurities of animal origin. These essentials, which every household in our country consumes on a daily basis, is allowed to contain metallic pieces, sand, gravel, dirt, pebbles, stones, lumps of earth, clay, mud and animal faeces and hair.

Sugar, refined sugar, bura and misri are permitted to have 0.1% extraneous matter, while this is permitted up to 2% in the case of jaggery. If you were impressed by this accuracy, honey, on the other hand, only needs to be visually inspected to ensure that it is free from mould, dirt, scum, the fragments of bees and other insects etc.

Similarly, one of India’s favourites – tea – is required by FSSAI to only be free from living insects, moulds, dead insects, insect fragments and rodent contamination which are “visible to the naked eye.”

FSSAI also allows most types of salt and spices, such asjeera, elaichi, laung, dalchini, red chillies, haldi, black pepper, dhania, methi etc., to contain 1-2% extraneous matter. This includes dust, dirt, stones and lumps of earth. One official told me that some years ago, when India needed dalsimmediately, they imported them from Burma.  The dal came full of stones. Instead of making a fuss, the FSAAI checked with their ministry and simply changed the rules to allow more stones.

So the quality of food is decided by corporations and regulatory bodies created to protect them. Who protects the consumer?

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By Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Every country is replete with innovations in policy: things that make life better for everyone. If we had a team in Niti Ayog, whose only job was to look through the Net and find these new strategies, then they could pass them on to the ministries.

Perhaps the most important decision that was made in any country in 2017 was that the British government made CCTVs mandatory in all slaughter houses. Millions of animals are treated terribly before they are killed. I made a film on the way animals were treated in the Idgah slaughterhouse in Delhi. The judge fainted and the slaughterhouse closed down. But there are 15,000 more that behave as badly. Animals are kicked, punched, beaten, burnt with cigarettes, given electric shocks, even sexually molested before they are cut. Thousands of lactating mother buffaloes are cut illegally. And, before they are cut, their teats are cut first so that there is evidence for the importer that the meat came from a pregnant, or lactating, animal. Little babies are cut, dragged by their tails and jumped on so that their ribs and legs break. Human children aged 4 cut goats with razor blades, letting them bleed to death in piles. Pigs are beaten to death routinely, as the sellers believe this makes the meat softer. In one video, taken in a slaughter in Kerala, iron rods were used to kill calves. They were hit several times and then the rods were inserted into their throats. I showed the film to the CM and he immediately ordered an “enquiry”. Under new rules, CCTV will be mandatory in abattoirs in the UK – a good first step to prevent the very worst cases of abuse. This should be made mandatory in India as well.

Here is a new way of dealing with the overflow of dogs and cats on the street. We have a law that orders sterilization of all dogs. Few municipalities do it – even the ones that do it , do it in fits and starts, allowing litters to be born and starting the process over and over again. In the meantime, the breeding of dogs has been made illegal, but pedigreed dogs are sold in the thousands by illegal breeders and are found in every pet shop . If we could get rid of the foreign pedigreed dog market, we could find all our Indian dogs homes.

In 2017, California passed a law, A.B.485, that pet stores will only sell puppies, kittens and rabbits from shelters and rescue centres. Violators will be fined $ 500 and shut down. This effectively puts an end to commercial animal breeders and brokers, and to the terrible practice of puppy mills which house animals in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate food, water, socialization or veterinary care.

California is the first state to pass such legislation, though it is following dozens of its own cities and jurisdictions, which have passed similar measures on a smaller scale.

The pet trade has predictably protested, saying that “ it would jeopardise jobs”. But since here  it does not employ anyone, and is a messy business which operates by a person buying a few dogs and multiplying them  in his own house without any standards being adhered to and then putting them in illegal pet shops, it will put no one out of business.

In any case, how will it make a difference whether the dogs come from breeders or shelters? People who like paying money for buying dogs, because they think they get “better” animals, will do it anyway. The shops will continue to be in business. 70% of all dogs that are sold by breeders suffer from incurable illnesses, and 30% die in the first week of parvo or distemper. If the dogs are from shelters then they are bound to be disease free.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  had this to say “By cutting off the puppy mill pipeline that moves cruelly bred animals from across the country into California pet stores, A.B. 485 will also help prevent California consumers from being duped into purchases that contribute to unconscionable animal ‘production’ and suffering.”

In another development, Trip Advisor, which is one of the largest travel sites in the world and its booking service Viator, will no longer sell tickets to hundreds of attractions where travellers come into contact with wild animals, or endangered species, held in captivity. The attractions include elephant rides, swimming-with-dolphin experiences and the petting of endangered species like tigers, circuses with animals etc.

The decision has been applauded by all wildlife preservation groups, which say dolphins and elephants held in captivity for entertainment purposes suffer severe physical and psychological damage. TripAdvisor also announced the creation of a wildlife tourism education portal, in partnership with leading animal protection organizations, that will inform the site’s users, who review attractions, and general visitors about animal welfare issues so that they can make more informed choices about their holidays. I hope this means that no tourists come for those dreadful elephant based festivals in Kerala, where every year we lose elephants who run amok because of their suffering and sometimes people are killed as well. I also hope that the Pushkar mela goes unattended since it stopped being a mela many years ago and is now just a market where camels are sold for illegal slaughter to a mafia group of U.P. smugglers.

Last October, Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit released a study on wildlife tourism. Among its many findings was that between two million and four million tourists per year pay visit attractions that are considered harmful to animal welfare. Animal welfare groups are hoping these changes – TripAdvisor has 350 million visitors a month -create a ripple effect throughout the travel booking industry. TripAdvisor and Expedia already do not allow bookings that involve killing or injuring captive animals for blood sport, like Spanish bullfighting for example, but TripAdvisor has gone one step ahead for more commonly seen animal amusements. 

Scotland, Ireland, Romania and Guatemala have banned circuses with animal acts. India had banned most in 1990 when I was Minister for Environment but, even now, several circuses are using elephants and others use horses, dogs and birds. The Central Zoo Authority is closing them down one after another.

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By Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

When you buy German cars you have given your consent to them for all the monkeys and humans they have maimed and killed. It has now been discovered that German automakers funded studies that had humans and monkeys inhaling diesel fumes. Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler have been exposed in a report published by the New York Times, and various German papers, about a 2014 study carried out by the  European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT)- a group owned by the car industries - with the aim of defending the use of diesel which had been classified in 2012 as carcinogenic. The animal experiments were done at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) in New Mexico, and the human ones in Aachen University Hospital, Germany, where the health effects of toxic "short-term nitrogen dioxide inhalation by healthy people" were studied. Nitrogen dioxide is a gas found in diesel fumes. The University Hospital has apologized saying that the experiments were done “to optimize safety for truck drivers, mechanics and welders.” Monkeys were put into airtight chambers and they had to inhale the exhaust of the cars, for hours, till they died. German Environment Minister, Barbara Hendricks, said later, she was "horrified" by the news. Volkswagen has promised an inquiry into the scandal and has asked for “forgiveness for this bad behavior and for poor judgment.” BMW  and Daimler, which owns Mercedes Benz, while agreeing that they commissioned the studies, claim they did not know animals had been used." Daimler said  it was "shocked by the extent of those studies and the way they were carried out." Such an experiment was abhorrent and superfluous. "We are convinced that the scientific methods chosen at the time were wrong. Germany's Green party has promised to take up this matter with the administration of Chancellor Angela Merkel. When tests on animals and people showed the opposite of what they wanted, these car industries put a software device to cheat pollution tests about their emissions.

The Dutch are probably the only people not scandalized. Dutch researchers have been performing tests "for years" on humans and animals to study the effects of diesel fumes. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) "is involved in research in which volunteers are exposed to diluted emissions from a diesel engine" for hours and this includes people who are sick and those with heart problems. Dutch researcher Nicole Janssen told the Dutch daily NRC that between 2010 and 2015 a large research project into air pollution was carried out. "I myself have carried out tests for the RIVM. With mice, rats, and occasionally with people," says toxicology professor, Paul Borm.

Practically every industry has experimented with animals – even when it is not necessary. The sugar industry used  a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation in the 1960s, funded a research project on animals to disprove the allegation that there was a connection between sugar and heart health. Thousands of animals were fed only sugar and then dissected to see what the impact was on their hearts. But when the research indicated that sugar might promote not only heart disease but also bladder cancer, the industry group ended the study and never published the results. So the animals suffered and died needlessly. The same sugar industry then employed scientists to prove that artificial sweeteners were carcinogenic, and these were banned on shaky evidence. Again hundreds of animals were killed. The tobacco industry did the same, making thousands of animals smoke cigarettes, or be exposed to cigarette fumes, in order to try and prove that cigarette smoking was not injurious to health.

Industries that make a fool of people into buying what they do not need, or what is bad for their health, use animal suffering to manipulate science.  The industry that uses animals the most is the cosmetic / beauty industry. And the biggest experimenters on animals are L'Oreal, Estee Lauder, Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Johnson & Johnson, S.C.Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser, Church & Dwight, Unilever, and Dial/Henkel. What is even more frightening is that companies that experiment on animals buy small niche companies that don’t experiment on animals, and then use those as a cover to hide their own malevolence. For instance, The Body Shop is frequented by customers who want to make an anti – animal testing statement. But The Body Shop is owned by L’Oreal which has the worst ethics when it comes to animal testing, and is making no effort to change its policies. Tiny brands, like Burt’s Bees (owned by Clorox) and Tom’s of Maine (owner: Colgate-Palmolive), are touted as cruelty free.

These are some of  the face and hair brands that test on animals: Almay, Artistry (Amway), Avon, Bobbi Brown, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Clinique, CoverGirl, Dior, Estee Lauder, Flirt, Givenchy, Guerlain, Helena Rubinstein, L’Oreal, Lancôme, MAC, Mary Kay, Max Factor, Maybelline, Rimmel, Revlon, Shiseido, Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent, Avene, Bain de Soleil, Bioderma, Biotherm, Bliss, Clarins, Clean & Clear, Clearasil, Garnier, Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, La Mer, Mederma, Neutrogena, Nivea, Noxzema, Oriflame, Ponds, Vaseline, Vichy, Walgreens, Yves Rocher, Clairol, Fekkai, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Kerastase, Natural Instincts, Nexxus, Nice ‘n Easy, Pantene, Sunsilk, TRESemmé, Vidal Sasson, Dial, Dove, Ivory, Johnson’s, Lux, Wella.

One would have thought that razors and hair remover companies would not need to experiment on animals, but these companies still slice and dice animals to see whether their razors are sharp enough: Bic Corporation, Braun, Gillette Co., Nair, Schiek, Veet.

So do these brands: Band-Aid, Pampers, Savlon, Vaseline, Vicks.

And so do these sanitary napkin companies. Which towel absorbs the most blood. Test on cutting an animal and then seeing the blood: Always, Carefree, Femfresh, Stayfree.

These are only a few. None of them needs to test on animals, as none of the animal tests are reliable. In fact, statistics show that 90% of all animal tests are rejected. So why do companies test on animals? I will tell you next time. But first, why do you buy products that are tested on animals? Stop any that are on this list – including your next foreign luxury car.

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