Europeans for medical advancement

Europeans For Medical Advancement (EFMA) is available in Europe for consultation on the scientific aspects of using animals in testing and research. EFMA represents the new organization Patients Campaigning For Cures (PCFC). Established in 2014, PCFC is a campaign run by patients for patients to speed up the arrival of effective new treatments and cures, and is founded by a young lady with multiple sclerosis. EFMA also advises the organization For Life On Earth (FLOE). Since its launch in 2013, FLOE has established a campaign with MPs at the UK Parliament.

 

Parliamentary Early Day Motions

 

130 members of the UK Parliament, to date, have signed four Early Day Motions (EDMs) highlighting the human cost of experiments on animals. The EDMs call for a properly moderated public scientific debate about claims that experiments on animals can predict the responses of human patients. Supporting politicians include Jeremy Corbyn MP, leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson MP, deputy leader of the Labour Party and key campaigner in the exposure of corruption at News International; Diane Abbott MP, Shadow Secretary of State, Paul Flynn MP, Caroline Lucas MP, ex-leader of the Green Party, Sir Alan Meale MP and Sir Greg Knight MP.

 

Current Parliamentary EDM 400

 

EDM 400 has been tabled by Sir Alan Meale MP and includes a reference to Patients Campaigning For Cures. The EDM cites up-to-date scientific understanding and references penicillin which was delayed for human application by over a decade because it has no effect on rabbits. Discovered by Alexander Fleming, here is the Fleming on animal testing:

‘How fortunate we didn’t have these animal tests in the 1940s, for penicillin would probably never have been granted a license and the whole field of antibiotics might never have been realised.’ [1]

The purification of penicillin, by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, helped it become the miracle cure which has saved millions of human lives. Here is Howard Florey on the toxicity tests he used:

‘Mice were used in the initial toxicity tests because of their small size, but what a lucky chance it was for in this respect man is like the mouse and not the guinea pig. If we had used guinea pigs exclusively we should have said that penicillin was toxic and we probably should not have proceeded to try and overcome the difficulties of producing the substance for trial in man.’ (Emphasis added) [2]

 

Parliamentaryedm263
Parliamentary EDM 263 and EDM 22's supporting MP Diane Abbott on BBC TV’s ‘This Week’

  

The Debate Conditions called for by both Parliamentary EDMs have been endorsed as “well set out and fair” by Britain’s leading human rights defence barrister Michael Mansfield QC . These debate conditions are also what AFMA endorses for debates in the US.

 

High Profile Beagle Campaign in the UK

 

FLOE additionally illustrate the scientific evidence for the UK’s high profile Beagle campaign  Oppose B&K Universal – Beagles being the breed of dog chosen for laboratory experiments internationally. Oppose B&K Universal  are the original local resident campaign – turned national! – which has been fighting B&K Universal for the past 5 years: B&K Universal have applied for planning permission to extend their Beagle breeding unit to now breed around 2,000 Beagles annually for experiments that The British Medical Journal (The BMJ) reports as not capable of predicting the responses of human patients. The BMJ published an Editor’s Choice in June 2014 titled How Predictive and Productive is Animal Research? [3]; his article concluded by quoting from the paper it cited:

'If research conducted on animals continues to be unable to reasonably predict what can be expected in humans, the public’s continuing endorsement and funding of preclinical animal research seems misplaced'. (Emphasis added).

The UK’s 2013-14 Home Office table shows that 2,873 individual Beagles were experimented on that year - that’s 83% of the total number of laboratory Beagles. The experiments were what’s known as human-applied studies, falsely claimed able to predict toxicity levels for new human medicines.

 

The Vested Interests are Delaying Debate

 

The UK’s lobbying group for the animal experimentation community Understanding Animal Research (UAR) has publically agreed, via the Twitter platform, to participate in a properly moderated, public scientific debate as called for by the EDMs. However, UAR are now stonewalling the debate hearing by refusing to submit the name of their main speaker, and this is delaying the debate indefinitely.

  

FLOE’s supporters

 

FLOE’s Patron is the acclaimed actor and Downton Abbey star Peter Egan, and supporters include primatologist and TV wildlife presenter Dr Charlotte Uhlenbroek, filmed on location with gorillas below; the UK’s the long established Beagle Association, formed in 1962; the great concert pianist John Lill CBE and Downton Abbey’s cook, ‘Mrs Patmore’, the actress Lesley Nicol.

 

 

 

EFMA have a track record of success in the UK

 

Having given many BBC radio and television interviews, Dr Greek and EFMA become the chief scientific witness for an historic animal protection coalition in 2002/2003, formed to oppose plans by Cambridge University to build a new non-human primate laboratory - one of the UK’s most high profile planning applications. Cambridge University applied to build their new lab on Green Belt land, and therefore had to prove claims that experimenting on non-human primates was scientifically and medically in the ‘national interest’. After a two week inquiry, in which EFMA submitted a written Proof of Evidence in addition to five hours of oral witness testimony from Dr Greek, Cambridge University's plans to build this lab were defeated with a precedent ruling on medical and scientific national interest grounds. The laboratory was not built after the Government Inspector ruled: ‘On the basis of the technical input, therefore, I could not conclude that need in the national interest is demonstrated insofar as this pertains to the scientific/medical research and procedures undertaken by the University’.

 

References

1. Parke DV: Clinical Pharmacokinetics in Drug Safety EvaluationATLA 1994, 22:207-209.

2. Florey H: The advance of chemotherapy by animal experiment. Conquest 1953, 41:12.

3. BMJ 2014;348:g3719  (available here)

 

Please watch this space for further news about EFMA. You can also like Patients Campaigning For Cures and follow their Twitter and like FLOE’s Facebook page and follow them on Twitter!