Coronavirus: These tests for new drugs will be dangerously misleading

Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA

Thereís a lot of talk at the moment about the need for a new wonder drug to tackle the coronavirus. The media are desperate for it to all happen very quickly. A new drug by next Thursday would be nice. Wednesday would be better.

But when it comes how will we know that a new drug is safe?

Well, although there will be some trials on human patients, though they wonít tell you what the long term dangers might be, the basic safety tests will involve animals.

And I fear you may now be in for something of a shock.

I have spent a good portion of my life fighting animal experiments Ė vivisection. Sadly, the fight has proved ineffective. Itís been an unequal battle. On the one side there have been a few people like me who know that animal experiments are not only inhuman but are also entirely worthless. Actually Ė worse than useless. On the other hand there are the huge international drug companies who pay for most animal experiments and who do so because animal experiments enable them to pretend that the drugs they sell are safe for human beings.

Iíve debated with vivisectors many times in public but for a long time now theyíve refused to debate with me Ė for the very simple reason that they always lost. Not because Iím particularly good at debating but because the facts are so much on my side. My last debate was due to take place many years go at the Union at Oxford University but they couldnít find any vivisector to debate with me so they cancelled me. I thought that was rather cowardly of them. They should have threatened the vivisectors that if they didnít turn up theyíd let me debate with a chair.

Animal experimentation is a big and dirty business. Every thirty seconds vivisectors around the world kill another thousand animals. They use kittens, cats, dogs, puppies, horses, sheep, rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, monkeys, baboons and any other creature you can think of. While waiting to be used in laboratory experiments animals are kept in solitary confinement in small cages. Alone and frightened they can hear the screams of the other animals being used.

Oh, and some of the animals used in laboratory experiments are pets which have been kidnapped, taken off the streets and sold to the vivisectors.

The animals used in experiments are blinded, burned, shot, injected and dissected. They have their eyes sewn up or their limbs broken. Chemicals are injected into their brains and their screams of anguish are coldly recorded. Three quarters of the experiments performed by vivisectors are done without any anaesthetic and most vivisectors have no medical or veterinary training.

Vivisectors claim that animals are not sentient creatures and are incapable of suffering mental or physical pain but I suspect that most people watching this will know thatís not true. Itís just one of the many lies told by animal experimenters.

There are many problems with animal experimentation. For example, all animals respond differently to threats of any kind depending on their circumstances (diet, cage size, etc.). None of these factors are allowed for by vivisectors. By locking an animal up in a cage experimenters have already invalidated their experiment because by altering the animal's surroundings the experimenter alters the animal's susceptibility, its habits, its instincts and its capacity to heal itself. Since these variations are not controlled (cages and surroundings differ) experiments performed on animals kept in cages are of no scientific value.

Even animal experimenters donít deny that drug tests done on animals can produce dangerously unreliable and misleading information. Thalidomide safely passed tests on animals. Penicillin and aspirin both kill cats. When Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin growing on a culture dish in 1928 he tested the drug on rabbits and discarded it when it seemed useless. Later the drug was tested on a cat and a human patient at the same time. The cat died and the human being lived. If doctors had relied upon animal experiments to decide whether or not penicillin was of any value the drug would have been discarded long ago. Penicillin even kills guinea pigs - the classic test animal for many drugs. Aspirin can be toxic to rats, mice, dogs, monkeys and guinea pigs as well as cats. Morphine sedates human beings but excites cats, goats and horses. Digitalis, one of the best established and most effective drugs for the treatment of heart disease, is so toxic to animals that if we had relied on animal tests it would have never been cleared for use by humans.

Here are the two main reasons why animal experiments are worse than useless.

First, vivisectors admit that most animal experiments are unreliable and produce results which are not relevant to human patients. But they will also admit that they donít know which experiments are unreliable and which might be reliable. Logically, that means that all animal experiments are useless. If you don't know which experiments you can rely on, you can't rely on any of them.

It is, however, my second argument which is the real clincher.

Drug companies test on animals so that they can say that they have tested their drugs before marketing them. If the tests show that the drugs do not cause serious disorders when given to animals the companies say: `There you are! We have tested our drug - and have proved it to be safe!' If, on the other hand, tests show that a drug does cause serious problems when given to animals the companies say: `The animal experiments are, of course, unreliable and cannot be used to predict what will happen when the drug is given to humans. We have, however, tested our drug.'

You may find this difficult to believe but itís true: tests which show that a drug causes cancer or some other serious disease, or which even kills, when given to animals are ignored on the grounds that animals are different to people. And tests which show that a new drug doesn't kill animals are used as evidence that the drug is safe for human consumption.

The drug companies cannot possible lose. Scores of drugs which cause cancer or other serious health problems in animals are widely prescribed for human patients. There is a list of some of the drugs which are widely prescribed but which cause cancer and other serious problems on my website Ė

As a result, it isnít surprising that four out of ten patients who take a prescribed drug which has been tested for safety on animals can expect to suffer severe or noticeable side effects and doctor induced disease is, along with cancer and circulatory disease, now one of the big three killers of human beings.

If you donít believe me go to the animal issues button and then scroll right to the bottom Ė there is a list of 50 drugs which cause cancer and other serious disorders in animals but which were passed fit for use by human patients.

Animal experiments are fraudulent and they are a major cause of illness and death. And now you know just one of the many reasons why the drug companies donít like me. If this truth gets out then theyíll have to start testing new drugs properly. It will cost them many billions Ė and a lot of dangerous but enormously profitable drugs will never get to market.

And itís one of the reasons why the internet is stuffed to the corners with lies about me.

Copyright Vernon Coleman May 28th 2020

Vernon Colemanís book Animal Experiments: Facts Every Animal Lover Should Know is available as a paperback on Amazon. Wisdom of Animals by Vernon Coleman and Donna Antoinette Coleman is packed with information about animal skills and intelligence and is available as a paperback and an eBook on Amazon.