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Are We the Real "Guinea-pigs"?


  • Drugs and other Medical Treatments Injure and Kill Millions of People
  • Fraud in Clinical Trials - Human Tests.
  • Fraud in Vivisection - Animal Tests.
  • How Many Pharmaceutical Drugs Do We Really Need?
  • Drug Companies Make These Admissions!
  • Thalidomide: Example of How Drug Companies are Protected by Flexible Unscientific Tests.
  • Drug Lobby Influence on Education & The Media.

Drugs and other Medical Treatments Injure and Kill Millions of People:

In 2004 a team of scientists reported: "A definitive review and close reading of medical peer-review journals, and government health statistics shows that American medicine frequently causes more harm than good... The total number of iatrogenic deaths [deaths from medical treatment]... is 783,936 [people per year in the USA]. It is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States." (Full article here)

Similarly, in 1994 a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that modern medicine causes 180,000 deaths each year in the USA. (1) Most of these are caused by prescribed pharmaceutical drugs.

A 1998 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that in 1994 in the USA, "2,216,000 hospitalized patients had serious Adverse Drug Reactions and 106,000 had fatal Adverse Drug Reactions, making these reactions between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death." (2)

In other words, modern medicine is officially considered to be a leading cause of death.

These astronomical figures, printed in a conservative medical journal, are in spite of the fact that a large number of pharmaceutical drug damages are never reported or registered.

Since 1961, the total number of "safety-tested" medical preparations marketed worldwide has risen to over 200,000. Approximately 15,000 new preparations are marketed each year, while some 12,000 are withdrawn.(3)

The United States has the greatest annual sickness-care expenditure of any nation; $912 billion in 1993 alone.(4) If money and medical treatment equals health then one would expect the United States to be the healthiest of nations. However, as of 2006 the USA ranks at only number 48 in the world for life expectancy at birth.(5)

Of course, a percentage of drug damages are due to the incorrect administration of drugs by physicians and patients. But how are harmful pharmaceutical drugs allowed onto the market in the first place, and why do we have so much faith in them? Pharmaceutical transnationals defy the intent of laws regulating safety of drugs by bribery, false advertising, unsafe manufacturing processes, smuggling and international law evasion strategies. But most of all they make dangerous drugs appear safe through the use of fraudulent and flexible 'safety-tests', the subject of this article...

Fraud in Clinical Trials - Human Tests.

Drug companies can easily arrange appropriate clinical trials by paying a researcher to produce the desired results that will assist the intended application of the drug. The incentive for researchers to fabricate data is enormous. As much as $1000 per subject is paid by American companies which enables some researchers to earn up to $1 million a year from drug research.(6) And they know all too well that if they don't produce the desired data, the loss of future work is inevitable. Unfortunately, because of secrecy, most fraud in clinical trials is unlikely to be detected.

However, cases of data-fabrication in clinical trials have been uncovered where, for example, "patients who died while on the trial were not reported to the sponsor....Dead people were listed as subjects of testing... People reported as subjects of testing were not in the hospital at the time of tests..." and where "Patient consent forms bore dates indicating they were signed by the subjects after the subjects had died."(7)

Even if data from clinical trials is not falsified, it is often of little worth, because they are not performed appropriately. Trials involve relatively small numbers of people and the subjects taking part usually do not represent those who will use the drug after its approval; so many harmful effects of a new drug appear only when it has been marketed.

Fraud in Vivisection - Animal Tests.

In 2004, the British Medical Journal published an article titled "Where is the evidence that animal research benefits humans?" It states: "the public often consider it axiomatic that animal research has contributed to the treatment of human disease, yet little evidence is available to support this view." (8) After 150 years of animal research, literally billions of animals used, billions of taxpayer dollars spent, and regular articles in the commercial media that claim animal research benefits humans, this revelation might shock you. Let's look at why one of the world's leading medical journal states "yet little evidence is available to support this view"; the view that animal research has contributed to the treatment of human disease.

The problem of inappropriate and flexible testing of drugs and chemicals, that we saw above regards clinical trials, is even more pronounced with the use of so-called animal 'models'; a practice termed vivisection. For instance, the fact that the animal is relatively healthy before the experiment means that disease and or trauma has to be induced by violent and artificial means. This bears no relation to the spontaneous ways in which humans develop illness, often through a faulty lifestyle and diet.

For example, consider the case of osteoarthritis, a human degenerative disease resulting in grotesque and painful deformities of the joints. How do researchers attempt to mimic human lameness in dogs, cats, sheep and pigs? Joints are beaten with hammer blows, injected with irritating liquids, subjected to ionising radiation and/or dislocated. It is obvious that the resulting fractures, haemorrhages, thromboses, contusions and inflammation bear no relation to human osteoarthritis, "which is a local manifestation of a generalised illness of the collagen."(9)

The fact is, if you had a new possible treatment for humans with cancer would it make sense to test it on humans who do not have cancer? No, because there are tremendous differences in metabolism which would produce very different results. The people without cancer will react very differently to the treatment than the people with cancer. It is even more absurd to think that test results from healthy members of one species, or from those with artificially induced symptoms, can be applied to another species. Drugs tested on such artificially diseased non-human animals cannot possibly yield results relevant to a spontaneous, naturally occurring human disease.

Moreover, there is no true correlation between different species. For example, arsenic kills humans but is harmless to guinea-pigs, chickens and monkeys; Digitalis which is used to lower blood pressure in humans dangerously raises the blood pressure of dogs; Penicillin kills guinea-pigs; Chloramphenicol damages the blood-producing bone marrow in humans, but in no other animal: Many common laboratory animals such as dogs, cats, rats, hamsters and mice, do not require dietary intake of vitamin C. This is because their bodies produce it of their own accord. However, if you deprive humans, guinea-pigs and some primates of dietary vitamin C they will die of scurvy.

There are enough of these species differences to fill a book.(10) In the words of former animal researcher Professor Pietro Croce, "No substance is toxic in itself, but only according to the species."(11)

Not only are there differences between species, but even individuals of the same species react differently to a substance. For example, research carried out at the University of Bremen, published in a paper titled "Problems of activity threshold in pharmacology and toxicology" found:

1. In ionising radiation -- young animals react differently from older ones. In reactions to Tranquillisers -- again, young and old animals react differently.

2. In the common method of testing pharmaceuticals and chemicals, the Lethal Dose 50% test, it was found that in the experiments carried out in the evening almost all the rats died: in those carried out in the morning all of them survived. In the tests carried out in winter, survival rates were doubled in contrast to those carried out in summer. In tests carried out on mice overcrowded together in cages, nearly all of them died, while those carried out on mice in normal conditions, all the mice survived.

The authors of this research, themselves animal researchers, concluded: "If such trifling environmental conditions bring about such widely differing and unforeseeable results, this means that animal experimentation cannot be relied upon in assessing a chemical substance and it is all the more absurd to extrapolate to problems of human health results which are intrinsically wrong."(12)

Numerous medical historians such as Hans Ruesch and Dr. Robert Sharpe, have documented that the true medical progress of the past was achieved through scientific and ethical study of the real world of natural human disease, and not from the artificial world of the experimental animal laboratory.(13) For some medical history, see these articles by Dr Beddow Bayly, by Dr Charles Bell and Hans Ruesch.

How Many Pharmaceutical Drugs Do We Really Need?

Why do drug companies rely on such unreliable and dubious methods for testing drugs? The answer is simple. If drugs were tested properly using true scientific methods, such as in vitro cultures of human cells and properly carried out human clinical trials, the vast majority of them would not be approved for marketing because their harmfulness and ineffectiveness would be all too apparent.

For instance, in 1981 the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), published a list of a mere 26 drugs, from the 205,000 marketed drugs, that were considered "indispensable", with 9 being more indispensable than the others.(14) Other medical commissions in Chile 1972, and Sri Lanka 1978, came to similar findings, that there are not more than a few dozen drugs worth keeping. Interestingly, both governments were ousted shortly thereafter by US backed forces. They were replaced with administrations open to American trade and the products of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry.(15)

This should cause anyone who thinks that we need more drugs to reconsider their opinion. It is plain to see that inconsequential and ambiguous methods of drug-testing are essential to protect the astronomical profits of the pharmaceutical industry.

Drug Companies Make These Admissions!

If you have difficulty accepting this explanation then consider the following statement from Eli Lilly's August 1993 Prozac 20 Consumer Product Information pamphlet:

"There can be no such thing as absolute safety with prescription medicines. Individual patients sometimes react differently to the same dose of the same medicine and it is possible that some unwanted side effects will not be known until a medicine has been widely prescribed for a number of years."

If they admit that even individuals of the same species react differently to an identical product, then why test on other species?

Dr Herbert Gundersheimer, one of many doctors against vivisection, explains:

"Results from animal tests are not transferable between species and therefore cannot guarantee product safety for humans... In reality these tests do not provide protection for consumers from unsafe products, but rather are used to protect corporations from legal liability." (16)

When people are damaged by unsafe products (such as pharmaceutical drugs, industrial and household chemicals, cosmetics ...etc.) and attempt to take legal action, manufacturers can claim to have adhered to "safety" tests and are thus absolved of having consciously marketed a harmful product.

Thalidomide: A Case Example
- on How Drug Companies are Protected by Flexible Unscientific Tests

Children of Thalidomide with artificial limbs.

Children of Thalidomide with artificial limbs.

This is what happened in the case of Thalidomide, a drug which after years of extensive animal tests was marketed as a perfectly safe tranquilliser for pregnant mothers. The end result: more than 10,000 grossly deformed babies. During the lengthy trial of the manufacturers in 1970, numerous court witnesses, all animal experimenters, stated under oath that the results of animal experiments are never valid for human beings. (17)

One of these experts was the Nobel Prize winner Ernst Boris Chain who co-discovered the anti-bacterial effects of penicillin. According to the court records on 2 February 1970 he stated:

"No animal experiment with a medicament, even if it is tested on several animal species, including primates, under all conceivable conditions, can give any guarantee that the medicament tested in this way will behave the same in humans: because in many respects the human is not the same as the animal."(18)

Because they had performed the required animal safety-tests, and because these did not show evidence of any danger, the manufacturers of Thalidomide were found not guilty by the court of consciously marketing a harmful drug.

This is the real value of animal experiments. Firstly, they can be manipulated, whether consciously or unconsciously, to produce results favourable to a financial backer.

Consider this statement from Dr Irwin Bross, former Director of the largest cancer research institute in the world, the Sloan-Kettering Institute: "The virtue of animal model systems to those in hot pursuit of the federal dollars is that they can be used to prove anything - no matter how foolish, or false, or dangerous this might be. There is such a wide variation in the results of animal model systems that there is always some system which will 'prove' a point. Fraudulent methods of argument never die and rarely fade away. They are too useful to promoters..." (19)

Secondly, as explained above by Dr Herbert Gundersheimer, animal tests then serve as legal protection for corporations when their products kill and injure people.

It is worthy of note that Professor S.T.Aygun, a virologist at the University of Ankara, who uses only the so-called 'alternative' non-animal research methods, discovered the danger of Thalidomide to humans and Turkey was spared the tragedy.(20)

Birth Defects Skyrocket

The (incredible) reaction to the Thalidomide tragedy by the pharmaceutical lobby was that it was a 'rare exception' and that it 'emphasises a need for more rigorous animal testing, not less.' This explanation was accepted by most people. So animal testing increased, along with the output of 'safety-tested' drugs. The consequences of this? In the 1950s in the Federal Republic of Germany, 3 out of every 100,000 babies were born malformed. By the 1980s, 500 out of every 100,000 were born malformed.(21) This is more than a 100-fold increase.

In the United States birth defects increased more than 350% in 25 years. In the late 1950s, 70,000 American babies were born with birth defects every year. In the 1980s this toll reached 250,000 a year. (22)

The reason for this increase in human birth defects is known. A survey by doctors in West Germany revealed that 61% of malformations in new-born children and 88% of all stillbirths are attributable to the damage caused by drugs taken by the mother during pregnancy. (23)

Remember, all these drugs were marketed after being declared "safe" through extensive animal testing.

Why do people believe so firmly in vivisection? The answer to this lies in their education.

Drug Lobby Influence on Education & The Media

With many of the world's major drug companies under its control, the Rockefeller organisation has, since the early part of this century, been perhaps the largest single private source of funding for medical science and education in the United States and Britain. It is a major contributor of funding in many other countries. The aim of this lavish funding for our education is to produce a curriculum designed to indoctrinate students with beliefs favourable to the profits of the pharmaceutical-chemical industry. Only colleges and medical facilities that advocate the massive consumption of chemical drugs, "safety-tested" on animals, as the secret to health, are recipients of drug company finance. Drug companies also exercise a dictatorial influence over the mass-media, through ownership and advertising revenue, as well as upon party politicians through 'donations'. Meanwhile, doctors who heal by inexpensive natural means, thereby threatening pharmaceutical profits, are decried as quacks, driven out of the country or into jail. (24)

Perhaps the most revealing point, however, is that the founder of the Rockefeller dynasty, John D Rockefeller, lived in excellent health to the age of 98 as did his son John D Jr., who died aged 86. What was their secret to a long healthy life? Both attributed this to a frugal diet of natural food, the advice of a homeopathic doctor only, and the complete avoidance of synthetic drugs! (25)

In Summary:

The most powerful corporations in the world do not want us to know the truth about pharmaceutical drugs and drug-testing even if our lives depend on it. And of course, they do. As the drug companies acknowledge, it means that every time we take a drug or are exposed to chemicals in our food and environment, we are the real guinea-pigs.

(c) 1995, sections updated in 2012.

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Home Page - for other articles

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  • Myths of Modern Medicine: The Increase in the Human Life Span - due to Medicine or Political Social Reforms? This article explains that the great increase in human life span in the developed world (during the 19th and 20th centuries) was due to political social reforms like better sanitation systems and improved hygiene and nutrition. It was not due to pharmaceutical drugs or other medical interventions.
  • A History of Western Medicine: From ancient Greece to modern times ... a summary of how human medicine: i) progressed due to scientific clinical observations of humans; and ii) was stalled and led astray for millenia due to misleading results from vivisection ... excerpts from a book by the medical historian Hans Ruesch.
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  • Doctors Against Vivisection on Scientific & Medical Grounds (vivisection = animal research, animal experiments, animals testing on live animals or humans). These doctors explain that vivisection is misleading and very damaging to human medicine. Furthermore, that it is not done for science but for commercial reasons to help insure companies against law suits from humans who are damaged by medical treatment.

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(1) Lucian Leape, "Error in medicine", Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 1994, vol. 272, nr 23, p. 1851.

(2) Lazarou J, Pemeranz B, Corey PN. "Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients: a meta-analysis of prospective studies," JAMA, 1998, vol. 279, nr 15, pp. 1200-1205.

(3) Hans Ruesch, Naked Empress-the Great Medical Fraud, CIVIS, Massagno/Lugano, Switzerland, 1992, p.12.

(4) Arthur Baker, Awakening Our Self-Healing Body-A Solution to the Health Care Crisis, Self Health Care Sytems, LA, California, 1994, p. 5.

(5) See http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/hea_lif_exp_at_bir_tot_pop

(6) John Braithwaite, Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1984, p.105.

(7) ibid., pp.51-52.

(8) Pandora Pound, Shah Ebrahim, Peter Sandercock, Michael B Bracken, Ian Roberts; "Where is the evidence that animal research benefits humans?" British Medical Journal, 2004; 328:514-517, http://www.bmj.com/content/328/7438/514

(9) Pietro Croce, Vivisection or Science-a Choice to Make, CIVIS, Switzerland, 1991a, p.37.

(10) ibid, p.22-23.

(11) Piedro Croce, "That's Why I am Against Vivisection", CIVIS Foundation Report, Massagno/Lugano, Switzerland, 1991b, nr 7, p.1.

(12) Croce, op. cit., 1991a, p.19.

(13) Hans Ruesch, Slaughter of the Innocent, CIVITAS Publications, Hartsdale NY, 1991, pp. 147-287; Robert Sharpe,The Cruel Deception, Thorsons Publishing Group, Wellingborough, U.K.1988.

(14) Hans Ruesch, Naked Empress, op. cit.,1992, p.191.

(15) ibid., p.92-96,191.

(16) Herbert Gundersheimer, 1988, in 1000 Doctors Against Vivisection (and Many More), Hans Ruesch (Ed.), CIVIS, Switzerland, 1989, p.29.

(17) Hans Ruesch, Slaughter of the Innocent, op. cit., 1991, pp. 359-367.

(18) Werner Hartinger in CIVIS International Foundation Report, Hans Ruesch (Ed.), CIVIS Massagno, Switzerland, 1991, nr 11, p.3.

(19) Irwin Bross, "Animals in cancer research: a multi-billion dollar fraud" in "Fundamental and Applied Toxicology", Nov. 1982, cited in "1000 Doctors (and Many More) Against Vivisection" (Hans Ruesch, Ed.), CIVIS, Massagno, Switzerland, 1989, p.70-71

(20) Hans Ruesch, Slaughter of the Innocent, op. cit., 1991, p. 367.

(21) ibid., pp-365-366.

(22) Javier Burgos, Hidden Crimes (Film), SUPRESS, Pasadena, California, 1986.

(23) Croce, op. cit., 1991a, p.52.

(24) Ruesch, Naked Empress, op. cit., 1992, p.97-119.

(25) ibid., p.115-116.


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