More Endorsements of the Research Modernization Deal

What Scientists Say:

“The National Medical Association is the largest and oldest national organization for African American physicians and the patients they serve in the United States. We represent the interests of more than 50,000 African American physicians, and we are the leading force for parity and justice in medicine and the elimination of disparities in health. The National Medical Association does not conduct, fund, or commission tests on animals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites the following health disparities faced by our community: African Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV; African American men are at greater risk of having a stroke than any other group of men in the United States; during their lifetime half of all non-Hispanic black women are predicted to develop diabetes; and, among people ages 65 and older, African Americans have the highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in the country. Unfortunately, animal tests are still used to study these and other human disease areas despite very poor translatability or applicability to human health, which hinders medical progress and wastes limited resources. The National Medical Association strongly supports the vision and plan articulated in PETA’s ‘Research Modernization Deal’ that offers a step-wise guide to eliminate misguided experiments on animals and instead prioritize more effective, ethical and economical non-animal research methods that will better advance human medical research for all.”

—Yolanda Lawson, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Chair, Board of Trustees, National Medical Association

“The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), representing the interests of 50,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the United States, does not conduct, fund, commission, or support tests on animals. The NHMA strongly supports PETA’s ‘Research Modernization Deal.’ Animals used in laboratory experiments are biologically, physiologically, and anatomically different from human beings, making animal testing a suboptimal and highly error-prone endeavor that costs billions of taxpayer dollars each year while failing more than 90 percent of the time to deliver safe and effective treatments for patients. The need for better medical therapies is urgently increasing, and the solution starts with modernizing the research pipeline. By 2060, Latinos will face the largest increase in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias cases of any racial or ethnic group in the country, which is due in part to an expected quadrupling of the number of Latinos age 65 and older, high prevalence of cardiovascular disease, and a greater incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and depression compared to non-Hispanic whites. Everyone will benefit from replacing animal experiments with more effective human-based medical research, and PETA’s plan provides a guide for how to achieve this important transition.”

—Elena Rios, M.D., MSPH, FACP, President and CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association

“For years, we in the medical profession have been alarmed at the paucity of treatments being gleaned from research on animals. Data from other species—even our closest living relatives, chimpanzees—could not be applied to the human patient bedside. We have known that biomedical research has been long overdue for a course correction. I am delighted that PETA’s ‘Research Modernization Deal’ offers a strategy and a blueprint for redirecting limited resources away from animal models and toward new, human-relevant research methodologies.”

Michael P. Murphy, M.D., FACS, Professor of Surgery

“PETA’s Research Modernization Deal reminds us of the great costs we have endured while experiments on animals have been the dominant paradigm in biomedical research: bringing unsafe and ineffective drugs into clinical trials and sometimes to market, delaying the development of superior methods, and contributing to the suffering and death of humans and animals alike. This comprehensive and well-researched report provides a roadmap for moving into a new era where human biology is rightly the focus of human health research.”

—Pradip Sahdev, M.D., FACS, Vascular and General Surgery, University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center, Medical Director, Vascular Access Center, Brandywine, Maryland

“As a medical professional, I was stunned to learn how much of our federal funding is wasted on experiments that are not only unethical, but poorly conducted, potentially irreproducible, and just generally wrong for advancing human healthcare and prevention. I strongly support the strategy laid forth in PETA’s ‘Research Modernization Deal’ to reform our nation’s investment in research.”

—Cindy Tait, R.N., MPH, President, Center for Healthcare Education, Inc.

“With more federal funding allocated toward human-relevant methods that don’t involve the use of other animals, we may finally start to see a greater return on our nation’s investment in biomedical research. PETA’s ‘Research Modernization Deal’ gives us a much needed push in that direction.”

—Gayle Galletta, M.D., Emergency Medicine, UMass Memorial Medical Group, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School

“Cold, hard statistics point to the failure of experiments on animals to address human disease: 95 percent of drugs that test safe and effective in animal trials are found to be unsafe or ineffective in humans, more than 90 percent of very promising findings from basic research (much of which involves research on animals) fail to result in an actual therapy for human patients. The sun is setting on the enterprise of animal research. Fortunately, a ‘New Deal’ proposed by PETA to modernize research helps light the path forward. How can we strategically replace outdated animal-based research with options from the exciting new world menu of human-based technologies: organs-on-chips, bioprinted human tissue, three-dimensional models of human tissue, and bioinformatics? PETA’s report offers a strategy and a blueprint—and I hope officials who set policies, approve grant applications, and sign checks take notice.”

—James H. Yahr, M.D., FACS, Former Director, Alta Bates Burn Center

“Speaking as an academic physician neuropathologist researcher with over 30 years of experience in diagnosis and treatment of degenerative brain diseases, and as recognized by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease as one of the top 100 Alzheimer’s disease investigators, I applaud PETA’s ‘Research Modernization Deal.’ The report summarizes the growing body of evidence showing the failure of animal models, including those of our closest genetic relatives, to provide clinically relevant information about the etiology, progression, or treatment of human neurodegenerative diseases. Nonhuman primates do not naturally suffer human illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or Huntington’s disease. Artificially inducing pathologic mimics of human diseases in Frankenstein-like genetic animal “models” does not replicate neurodegenerative pathogenesis, and has wasted billions of research dollars. It is past time to ditch the broken animal testing paradigm and instead use modern techniques outlined in this report to directly benefit human health, save taxpayer dollars, and spare animals’ lives.”

—Lawrence A. Hansen, M.D., Professor and Director of Neuropathology Fellowship Program, Department of Pathology, University of California San–Diego School of Medicine

“As a physician and person with a fatal disease for which there is no cure, I support a plan to redirect research funding toward human studies aimed at treating human problems that are amenable to amelioration or cure and away from experiments on animals. PETA’s Research Modernization Deal provides such a plan. Collating the wealth of information in the report was an extraordinary undertaking and those involved in funding medical research, namely the National Institutes of Health, would do themselves a favor by heeding PETA’s call.”

—Thomas J. Poulton, M.D., FAAP, FACP, FCCM

“The enterprise of science prides itself on being evidence-based. However, in recent years, mounting evidence has suggested that data from animal research cannot be applied reliably or confidently to humans. PETA’s ‘Research Modernization Deal’ distills this evidence into a short but powerful report that will help steer biomedical research along a more human-relevant and humane course.”

—Rear Admiral Marion Balsam, M.D., Medical Corps, U.S. Navy (retired), Former Commander Naval Medical Center Portsmouth 

“Reading news headlines, one might think that the cures to all of our most hard-hitting diseases are just around the corner. Often the fine print reveals that such ‘breakthroughs’ have only been tested on mice or other non-human animals. PETA’s ‘Research Modernization Deal’ is a much-needed peek behind the curtain, detailing how experiments on animals have failed us in an astonishing number of areas. But the report doesn’t leave you wondering about what we can do instead. It provides a roadmap for transitioning out of this dark age.”

—Patrice Green, M.D., J.D., FCLM, Hospital Medicine and Internal Medicine, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health at Dorchester and Easton

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