Tuesday, October 23, 2007

One Man’s Poison...

Whilst carrying out some research into vivisection (of all things) for a future project of mine, I came across the following pieces of received wisdom on the internet. They all relate to the arguments against using animals as test subjects for products which are ultimately going to be for human use. These little nuggets of knowledge certainly made me open my eyes and I suspect you might find them interesting too.
  • Parsley is a deadly poison for parrots.
  • Arsenic, a poison to humans is harmless to the sheep. Sheep, goats, horses and mice can also eat hemlock in huge quantities – whereas it is a poison to humans.
  • Lemon juice is poisonous to cats.
  • A hedgehog can eat enough opium at one sitting to keep a hardened drug addict high for a fortnight.
  • Morphine is an anaesthetic for humans, yet if it is given to cats it produces a state of frenzied excitement.
  • Vitamin C is not needed at all by dogs, rats, hamsters and mice, as their bodies produce Vitamin C of their own accord. If humans, primates or guinea-pigs are deprived of Vitamin C, they will die of scurvy.
  • Simply inhaling the fumes of prussic acid is enough to kill humans, yet it can be drunk without harm by toads, sheep and hedgehogs.
  • Scopolamine can kill humans with a dose of just 5 milligrams. Dogs and cats find 100 milligrams harmless. This is very worrying when it comes to working out safe dosages, as it is calculated by looking at the relationship between body mass and dosage. If we take the average cat to weigh 4 kilograms and the average human to weigh 70 kilograms, this means the correct dose of scopolamine for a human would be 1800 milligrams - 360 times the actual safe dose.
  • Penicillin, the first antibiotic, was tested on mice. Had it been tested on guinea pigs, it would have been considered dangerous, as penicillin affects the floral bacteria in guinea pigs' stomachs, and kills them within a few days.
  • Health warnings on cigarette packets were held up for years during the 1960s whilst scientists (paid by tobacco companies) proved time and again that smoking cigarettes does not cause lung cancer in rats and mice, despite the fact that by that time, there was already plenty of documented human evidence to show that cigarettes were dangerous!
  • The unreliability of animal testing was shown to disastrous effect in the case of fialuridine. This drug passed its animal test phase with no problems, but when it was given to fifteen volunteer humans, it caused acute liver damage, killing five of them and forcing two others to have liver transplants.

With all of the above arguments against animal testing, it does make you wonder how many tests were carried out, and for what reasons, for them to find all of this stuff out, doesn’t it.


Blogger Mataeus said...

Woah.... The comment about penicillin does indeed make one wonder what we have that's considered 'safe' and what important discoveries we don't have that are considered 'dangerous'.

"Hey, look, a cure for HIV.... Oh, no wait it killed the mice three days later. Back to the drawing board then...."

October 23, 2007 at 6:07 PM  

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