“Trying to cure human diseases by relying on outdated and ineffective animal experiments isn’t only cruel—it’s a grave disservice to people who desperately need cures.” – Pamela Anderson via Facebook post, 8/20/14
I understand the purpose behind the popular ALS ice bucket challenge, and can see it’s great value towards raising awareness for the cause and in generating donations, but totally agree with Pam on this point, as does the ALS researcher that wrote a piece for HuffPost Science titled, In Defense of Pamela Anderson.
The FDA’s own statistics show that 92 out of 100 drugs that succeed in animal trials fail when used on humans. Apparently that’s particularly true for ALS drugs. In the last several decades, after alllllll their animal testing (they used to use primates but have since stopped and now primarily use rodents, zebrafish and fruit flies), only a handful of drugs even showed promise in clinical trials with humans.In the end, none truly ended up working for people.
The ALS Association has responded to people concerned about animal rights to say that, “The Association is committed to honoring donor intent. If a donor is not comfortable with a specific type of research, he or she can stipulate that their dollars not be invested in that particular area.”
Whether or not you are doing the challenge, if you are donating to the ALS Association please consider specifying that it not be used on animal experimentation. Or, consider giving to an alternative organization such as Compassionate Care for ALS.
Note that I am not being dispassionate or saying not to support ALS awareness or research, just asking people to support ethical research that’s actually *more* effective and directly helps humans. See further info in this blog post by PCRM.