Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Disclosing Animal Testing

The latest from the Journal of Animal Ethics is detailed information should be given to patients on animal testing: how many, the tests and procedures, and the nature and severity of pain and suffering.

People (like Lord Winston, Hansard (House of Lords), 24 October 2011, column 623) have argued for the necessity of animal testing before human trials, and that there is no substitute for testing on an appropriate living being. As a necessity, it ought to be information put on the drug packaging. But the animal ethicists are saying it should go further than this, and into detail, and, more than this, this should be information disclosed on the whole range of other products that involve animal testing. Medical products should not be singled out.

It is also the case that some animal testing has led to nothing worthwhile, and that some 'successful' animal tests allowed drugs to be used that harmed humans (with the products recalled), all of which involved degrees of suffering. These products should disclose testing.

Full disclosure can involve too the human disadvantaged used for medical experiments like: prisoners of war, soldiers, ethnic minorities, mental patients and orphans.

The idea is that full disclosure overcomes interested parties with information to protect.

I'm not sure how this would go into every product sold, or how it could be framed by law or practice, but certainly the disclosure of animal testing, given consumer responses, would result in improvements on whether the product should have been tested on animals at all. Drugs are often sold with explanations on paper inside the packaging, and animal use information could be attached to such information.
The multidisciplinary Journal of Animal Ethics is a collaboration between the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and the University of Illinois Press.

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