To the editor:
Wednesday, April 26 was World Day for Animals in Laboratories. Some 50 people commemorated the day in a memorial walk in downtown Kelowna.
I am reading a book published 17 years ago which sheds light on why medical research has been ineffective in finding cures for human diseases.
The answer is that researches have been fishing in an empty pool called animal research. The book is called Sacred Cows and Golden Geese. It is still highly relevant. A current book by Richard Harris, called Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope and Wastes Billions may help steer researchers to use human models for finding human cures. No one wants to waste billions of dollars.
Nearly everyone supports the idea of research on animals in laboratories to find cures for human diseases. However, if the research is a waste of time and money, and delays finding cures, it may be time to ask why failed methods continue to be used.
Researchers are quick to publish cures which work in animals. Too frequently, the public is left to believe that if the new drug cures animals, it will also cure humans.
Except in books such as Sacred Cows, I have not read any news stories reporting that drugs which cured animals have not helped humans. We need follow-up stories on human results of drugs which cure animals. Without follow-ups on humans, research dollars are really funding veterinary cures.
Helen Schiele, Kelowna