Please enjoy this article from the latest issue of our magazine, PETA Global. To begin your subscription, become a PETA member today!Become a PETA Member!
The dusty old way of doing “science” – tormenting and killing animals in cruel, unreliable experiments – is failing. But PETA’s brilliant scientific team has created a plan to bring biomedical research into the 21st century: It’s the lifesaving, game-changing Research Modernization Deal (RMD), a first-of-its-kind roadmap for shifting science away from experiments on animals and toward human-relevant methods.
In a US Congressional briefing hosted by Rep. Brendan Boyle, PETA honorary director and The Sopranos star Edie Falco and respected physicians joined the PETA Science Advancement team to lay out the compelling case explaining why the government can’t afford not to adopt the RMD.
PETA Presents a New Paradigm
Edie Falco’s introduction got straight to the point: “The experiments are unbelievably cruel, there’s no doubt about that. But it adds insult to injury when you learn that they rarely amount to anything remotely resembling scientific progress.” Falco explained that millions of animals suffer immensely and are killed in US laboratories every year, while millions of human patients wait for treatments and cures for serious diseases that never materialize.
By enacting the RMD, Falco said, “Congress has the power to ensure better health research for Americans and spare the lives of countless vulnerable animals.”
Let’s Fix This Broken System
Former US National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical researcher and now PETA scientist Dr. Katherine Roe knows firsthand how badly the current system is broken. Despite the abject failure of animal experiments to save human lives, NIH wastes nearly half its annual budget – $19.6 billion – on them.
“Experimenters don’t measure ‘success’ by cures and treatments, as it must be,” Dr. Roe explained from her personal experience, “but by getting papers published and pocketing grant money. Many scientists have spent their entire careers doing animal experiments and don’t want to learn new methods or update their laboratories. As long as NIH continues to incentivize animal tests, animal tests will continue. We need a change, and we need it now.”
Here Are the Desperately Needed Major Reforms
PETA scientist Dr. Emily Trunnell once experimented on animals, but now she promotes state-of-the-art, animal-free research methods. NIH pays lip service to ending animal tests,” Dr. Trunnell explained. “They haven’t provided any framework or plan for doing so. PETA has.”
This is what the RMD would do:
- Eliminate the use of animals immediately in areas where it has already been shown to fail
- Critically review additional areas of research to determine where animal use can be ended
- Promote the international harmonization and acceptance of non-animal chemical testing methods among all government agencies and research bodies
- Redirect funds from animal experiments into the promotion of non-animal methods
“It is common sense to think that we should have always prioritized science that gives preference to humans and is not harmful or deadly to animals,” Dr. Trunnell said, “but that’s not what’s going on, and that needs to change for all our sakes. Modern methods including in vitro, organs-onchips, computer modeling, and three-dimensional human tissue printing are already rewriting the rules. Patient cells can even be used to study an individual’s unique biology and tailor precision, personalized medicine. Unlike crude, shot-in-thedark experiments on animals, these methods offer real hope of cures and treatments. Science must embrace them without delay.”
A Global Revolution
The RMD is backed by physicians across the US, including the National Medical Association and the National Hispanic Medical Association, and after PETA shared its roadmap with members of the European Parliament last year, it voted almost unanimously to create a plan to phase out animal testing.
“Other countries around the globe are moving toward a more sustainable, animal-free, human biology-based research paradigm,” Dr. Trunnell said.
Take Action Now
Wherever you are in the world, animals need you to weigh in on this! US residents, visit PETA.org/RMD to keep the ball rolling by asking your legislators to back PETA’s plan. Canadian residents, please contact the Canadian Institutes of Health Research at 1-888-603-4178 or [email protected].