In Defence of Animals recently posted an online action demanding ‘Canada change its restrictive anti-“veggie meat” regulation’. The action made me wonder whether the UK or the EU has similar requirements for simulated meat to be tested on animals. Based on a quick search, I could not find the answer so I contacted an animal charity in the hope of finding answer. This is the charity’s reply:
Thank you for your email. With regard to artificial meat, all of the ingredients would be animal tested if they’re either new to the market or existing ingredients which are not considered to have enough data on them already available. We are not sure, however, whether the final ‘simulated meat’ product would also need to be animal tested. The only way the product might avoid animal testing altogether is if all ingredients had sufficient safety data already available, but that is unfortunately unlikely.
Huge sums of money have been donated in recent weeks to motor neurone disease charities through the ice bucket challenge craze. Animal Aid is urging people to resist enriching these charities by dowsing themselves in iced water or challenging others to do so.
Instead, we are challenging the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the main beneficiary of the ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) ice bucket phenomenon in this country, to stop funding cruelly invasive animal tests. Such tests include those using genetically modified mice bred to suffer severe motor impairment and muscle weakness.
Experiments using GM mice and other animals can in no way adequately replicate the complexities of ALS in humans, which are significantly affected by specific genetic traits, such as those relating to ethnic and geographic variables.
GM mouse experiments have been criticised in the scientific literature for the ‘poor correlation’ between data generated in labs from animal ‘models’ and the clinical reality. That so many drugs have ‘succeeded’ in animal tests but have gone on to fail in human clinical trials is evidence that a more rational research strategy is long overdue.
The devastating effects of ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, which are almost entirely unique to humans, can be tackled – on the research front – only by cutting-edge, human based technologies and studies. It is these that are directly relevant to patients.