Animal testing for Cosmetic and Household Products 
Author Message
 Animal testing for Cosmetic and Household Products

[Article stating his knowledge about testing products on animals mostly comes
from a PETA newsletter and information from acquaintances...]
Quote:
>Q.What other ways could they test their products?
>A. 1. Enough is known about toxicity in humans to put the information into
>      computers and let the computers tell us if a substance or mixture
>      would be toxic.
...
>These are the three mentioned in the PETA newsletter, more may exist.

...

Sci.med: Is knowledge of toxins and biochemistry really that advanced?
Is this just another expression of the myth "Computers can do Anything
when given a lot of Data"?

I thought there were still gaps in brain chemistry, cell structure and growth
knowledge, at least.  Those are things one wouldn't want to get altered
accidentally.

Follow-ups go back to the groups which got the original message.
--
Scot E. Wilcoxon   Minn Ed Comp Corp  {quest,dayton,meccts}!mecc!sewilco

"A real man doesn't need women!" - Sledge Hammer



Mon, 19 Apr 1993 20:06:00 GMT
 Animal testing for Cosmetic and Household Products

Quote:
> >Q.What other ways could they test their products?
> >A. 1. Enough is known about toxicity in humans to put the information into
> >      computers and let the computers tell us if a substance or mixture
> >      would be toxic.
> Sci.med: Is knowledge of toxins and biochemistry really that advanced?
> Is this just another expression of the myth "Computers can do Anything
> when given a lot of Data"?

        The truth is that if anyone ever tells you that they can absolutely
predict the function of its molecule from its structure, laugh in his
face.  
        Take the following two examples.  By a structure-function
relationship, Thalidomide should be perfectly safe.  As a matter of fact,
it is perfectly safe - in rabbits, and in humans beyond 20 weeks gestation.
No one ever suspected that it would be such a potent teratogen for a
short period in embryogenesis.  The FDA never approved it for use in the
US, but the tragedy in Europe was of immense proportions. It inhibited
the growth of the proximal limb bud, but who could have ever predicted?
        Or take Dioxin, this should also be a fairly innocuous compound.
It does not induce mutagenesis in bacteria and is fairly stable.  Rats
and certain strains of mice can literally eat it by the pound, but just
a few millionths of a gram will kill a guinea pig (or is it a gerbil).

        This is not to say that certain animal testing isn't excessive,
but the shear fact that biology is stranger than nature will ensure
that it will never be possible to eliminate it completely.

--
                              Craig Werner (MD/PhD '91)
                                !philabs!aecom!werner
              (1935-14E Eastchester Rd., Bronx NY 10461, 212-931-2517)
                     "Well that's my story, not that it matters..."



Mon, 19 Apr 1993 20:46:00 GMT
 Animal testing for Cosmetic and Household Products


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 Animal testing for Cosmetic and Household Products

Quote:
>>        Take the following two examples.  By a structure-function
>>relationship, Thalidomide should be perfectly safe.  As a matter of fact,
>>it is perfectly safe - in rabbits, and in humans beyond 20 weeks gestation.
>>        Or take Dioxin, this should also be a fairly innocuous compound.
>>It does not induce mutagenesis in bacteria and is fairly stable.  Rats
>>and certain strains of mice can literally eat it by the pound, but just
>>a few millionths of a gram will kill a guinea pig (or is it a gerbil).

It seems to me these are very GOOD reasons *NOT* to rely on animal testing
for valid assumptions about human reactions to {*filter*}, etc.  There are lots
of animals suffering in these horrible experiments, only to arrive at
results like the above.  "Does it cause cancer in rabbits?" "Yes." "Can
we assume it causes cancer in humans, then?"  "Uh...I can't say."

What the heck are all these animals dying for?  Rather useless information,
and potentially dangerous assumptions.

And as far as household cleaners, and the like.  My great-grandmother in
Italy was cleaning her house with the same chemicals I am using today:
bleach, lye, etc.  She didn't need someone to stick lye in a rabbit's eye
to tell her that it was dangerous stuff and that skin contact should be
avoided.  And neither do I.  Have they really added any new chemicals to
the household-cleaning and make-up arsenal in the past 20 years?  If so,
why?  The old ones work fine.  And if not (new and improved = ga ga, in
my opinion) then why are they continuing to torture animals with repetitive
tests.

At any rate, thanks to Julie for sharing her list of good-and-evil manufact-
urers with us.  I will not be buying very many of the same products I used to.
For those of you who care, make your dollars talk!  Corporations that don't
know the meaning of the word "ethics" are still very tuned in to the word
"money".



Mon, 19 Apr 1993 13:48:00 GMT
 Animal testing for Cosmetic and Household Products

Quote:

>It seems to me these are very GOOD reasons *NOT* to rely on animal testing
>for valid assumptions about human reactions to {*filter*}, etc.

You are right, we can't absolutely rely on animal testing (although we can
get some useful data out of it). But what's your suggestion for alternative
test objects. Do you want to test on people???

Quote:
>And as far as household cleaners, and the like.  My great-grandmother in
>Italy was cleaning her house with the same chemicals I am using today:

Your great-grandmother (or my great-grandmother for that matter) lived in
quite different society. I doubt that she had access to the same medicine,
cosmetic products, household products and other chemicals you can find around
today. I also doubt that she had comparable guarantees as far as safety of the
products is concerned. We don't use ALL of the chemicals used, say, 50 years
ago. We keep using ONLY those that (as far as we can tell) are SAFE.

Quote:
>bleach, lye, etc.  She didn't need someone to stick lye in a rabbit's eye
>to tell her that it was dangerous stuff and that skin contact should be
>avoided.  And neither do I.

Hmmm... You just simply KNOW it! That's not bad. Here is what you should do.
Write to all the labs that perform animal tests and let them know that you
can tell them if the tested chemicals are safe or dangerous. That way they
can save the poor animals and everybody's going to be happy.

        As always oversimplifying the problem is not going to help us.
I don't think there is a lab that performs animal tests just for the sake
of being cruel to the animals. Our society demands new products, new medicine
etc., and it also demands that these products are safe. Animal testing is
just one of the implications. My great-great-grandmother probably didn't
even know what make-up was, so it would have been OK for her to say "There is
no reason to test these cosmetic products on animals"...

        Have you never used any cosmetic products? Do you want them to be
safe? If yes then what do you suggest as a solution to go for those who want
to provide you with what you want?

        While it's relatively easy to say "forget about all the new cosmetic
and household products", what about medicine? We could talk about "ethics"
forever. Do we want to understand human body? The answer is yes. But what if
the only way to answer a particular question is to cut something that is alive? There are only a few solutions. We can cut people, we can cut something else
(alive), or we have to forget about the original question.
What's the answer now???

I know, you just KNOW the answer.

        Now, I am not advocating excessive animal tests. At the same time
I realize that I'm not a hermit. I am using the products and I want them
to be safe and I am aware of possible implications. I want to be able to
ask a doctor for help. To say that we can put all the data we have into a
computer and have it figure out what's safe and what not is naive and childish.
To use all the advances of our age and to say that animal tests should be
illegal is just drooling.

zdenek




Mon, 19 Apr 1993 16:05:00 GMT
 Animal testing for Cosmetic and Household Products

C'mon zdenek, you're twisting Libby Sackett's comments out of all
proportion and being unnecessarily sarcastic to wit.

She simply said that she thought one can do a fine job of cleaning
a house using the same stuff (lye, bleach, soap) that her grandmother
used and wondered to what extent these companies are testing ingredients
we are all quite familiar with (eg. lye, she mentioned that specifically)
or introducing new ingredients simply to be able to say they have something
"new and improved", but of dubious value to get the tub scrubbed. It
wouldn't matter that they do except that the point is that in so doing
they engage in possibly cruel and likely (a priori) unnecessary animal
testing. She's simply saying that if that is the cost then thanks but
no thanks.

You drag in things like medicines to make your point, no one was
arguing about that so it's moot. The whole point was the testing of
things of clearly dubious value, like a new fragrance additive for
dishwashing soap.

Boy, I hate the technique on these lists of dragging someone's
point all over the place until one has suitably constructed a
straw man to knock down.

Maybe we should have a moratorium on paragraphs which begin with "Oh
yeah? Then what if..." which almost invariably is followed by
something the original poster never said nor intended, but provides an
easy target for the respondent.

Here's to intellectual honesty...

Quote:
>>And as far as household cleaners, and the like.  My great-grandmother in
>>Italy was cleaning her house with the same chemicals I am using today:

>Our society demands new products, new medicine
>etc., and it also demands that these products are safe.

QED.

        -Barry Shein, Boston University



Mon, 19 Apr 1993 12:21:00 GMT
 Animal testing for Cosmetic and Household Products
Not all chemicals that our grandfolks used are available to us now.
A couple of counterexamples: mercury and carbon tetrachloride used
to be widely used in, respectively, hattery and dry cleaning, even
at home.  Cases of toxicity were noticed; studies of toxic levels
were done; and now you can't buy those at Mayor Bunsen's hardware
store anymore.
--





Mon, 19 Apr 1993 16:16:00 GMT
 Animal testing for Cosmetic and Household Products

Quote:

>                            ....The whole point was the testing of
>things of clearly dubious value, like a new fragrance additive for
>dishwashing soap.

I couldn't agree any more. As far as I am concerned all the cosmetic
products are of dubious value. I personally use probably only one kind
of soap and I hate when they have more than one brand of toothpaste and
I have to chose. It's all the same stuff anyway. But that wasn't my point.

Quote:
>You drag in things like medicines to make your point, no one was
>arguing about that so it's moot.....
>Maybe we should have a moratorium on paragraphs which begin with "Oh
>yeah? Then what if..." which almost invariably is followed by
>something the original poster never said nor intended, but provides an
>easy target for the respondent.

I have no means of finding out what the original poster INTENDED to say,
but I surely know what was POSTED. Reread the original article again before
wasting too much time with unique ideas. I drag in things like medicine?
Could you please explain the intent of the following?

Quote:
>>It seems to me these are very GOOD reasons *NOT* to rely on animal testing
>>for valid assumptions about human reactions to {*filter*}, etc.  There are lots
>>of animals suffering in these horrible experiments....
>>What the heck are all these animals dying for?  Rather useless information,
>>and potentially dangerous assumptions.

I read this as <animal reactions differ from human reactions, we can't rely
on those results, therefore testing {*filter*} etc. on animals is useless>.
Sorry if I misunderstood...

Also, just in the case you missed that, the poster of the article you
defend edited the Subject line and changed it from "Re: Animal testing for
Cosmetic and Household products" to "Re: Animal testing: are results valid
for human comparisons at all?".
I must have misunderstood the intent in this case, too.

Anyway, my point was that it is necessary to first analyse the problem
(at least a little bit, please) and then complain and {*filter*}. So far all
the proposals I have heard about animal testing were the same, namely
Stop it! I haven't heard anybody saying "let's convince all the women that
by not using say lipsticks they can prevent cruel animal tests".
It's OK to produce, watch and even stomach (I'm affraid some people must
believe that crap) all the stupid and mindless commercials about new products,
it's OK to buy the products. There is no problem with using new shampoos,
make-ups and I don't know what else one could use. It's fine that all these
people require that the stuff is safe. But to test it on animals is bad.
I am sick of irrational arguments.

Enough said.

zdenek




Mon, 19 Apr 1993 17:37:00 GMT
 Animal testing for Cosmetic and Household Products

Quote:

>   My examples:
> >>   Take the following two examples.  By a structure-function
> >>relationship, Thalidomide should be perfectly safe.  As a matter of fact,

> >>   Or take Dioxin, this should also be a fairly innocuous compound.
> >>It does not induce mutagenesis in bacteria and is fairly stable.  Rats
> It seems to me these are very GOOD reasons *NOT* to rely on animal testing
> for valid assumptions about human reactions to {*filter*}, etc.  There are lots
> of animals suffering in these horrible experiments, only to arrive at
> results like the above.  "Does it cause cancer in rabbits?" "Yes." "Can
> we assume it causes cancer in humans, then?"  "Uh...I can't say."

        As much as I hate to be involved in run-on discussions, I also
hate to be misinterpreted or misunderstood.  The logical leap that
Libby Sackett makes in response to my examples is essentially
unjustified.   There is a long experience to suggest that most chemicals
that are harmful in a proper animal model are in fact harmful to humans.
Furthermore, interspecies differences in reaction provide an insight into
the mechanism and action of compounds.  It is the converse that is not
true: just because something is safe in animals does not mean it is
safe in humans.   However, anything harmful to animals should be
considered harmful to humans until proven otherwise (and frankly I
don't think the effort to prove otherwise is generally undertaken).
        One can never completely eliminate animal research.  There
is some, admittedly, that is redundant and unneccesaary, but one
cannot generalize. One cannot generalize!

--
                              Craig Werner (MD/PhD '91)
                                !philabs!aecom!werner
              (1935-14E Eastchester Rd., Bronx NY 10461, 212-931-2517)
   "If you've heard this story before, don't stop me. I want to hear it again."



Mon, 19 Apr 1993 23:05:00 GMT
 Animal testing for Cosmetic and Household Products

Quote:

>>>    Take the following two examples.  By a structure-function
>>>relationship, Thalidomide should be perfectly safe.  As a matter of fact,
>>>it is perfectly safe - in rabbits, and in humans beyond 20 weeks gestation.

>>>    Or take Dioxin, this should also be a fairly innocuous compound.
>>>It does not induce mutagenesis in bacteria and is fairly stable.  Rats
>>>and certain strains of mice can literally eat it by the pound, but just
>>>a few millionths of a gram will kill a guinea pig (or is it a gerbil).

>It seems to me these are very GOOD reasons *NOT* to rely on animal testing
>for valid assumptions about human reactions to {*filter*}, etc.  There are lots
>of animals suffering in these horrible experiments, only to arrive at
>results like the above.  "Does it cause cancer in rabbits?" "Yes." "Can
>we assume it causes cancer in humans, then?"  "Uh...I can't say."

The US FDA says: "if a drug causes cancer in rats, we're not gonna certify
it for human use".  Remember Saccharin?  Because, if a chemical does
do something {*filter*} to animals, it'll *probably* do something equally
{*filter*} to human beings.  And "probably" is good enough.  And it's evil
(to use your terminology) to perform tests in that scale on human beings
to find out for sure - Hitler's Germany did such testing.

And, in the case of things like Saccharin, it's extremely difficult to detect
that a drug is doing {*filter*} things.  Saccharin, (If I remember correctly) was
guessed at being capable of causing a couple of cancers per *million* people.  
You want to do testing on humans on that big a scale?  How?  Or (as they do
with rats) extremely high dosage testing for several generations?  If doing
this testing on animals is unethical - what's doing the same on human beings?  
Don't give me any nonsense about tissue cultures or computers.  They simply
*won't* catch problems that subtle.

OF COURSE, killing thousands of animals to determine that Chlorox is corrosive
is stupid and cruel.  But blanket condemnation of all animal testing is
equally so (to the people suffering from the conditions the drug is being
researched in the first place).  Fortunately, most Universities have ethics
committees that review test plans before allowing researchers to perform
tests on animals or people.  Perhaps the cosmetics industry should be forced
to clear test plans with a government body that evaluates testing for
reasonability.
--
Chris Lewis
Spectrix Microsystems Inc,
UUCP: {utzoo|utcs|yetti|genat|seismo}!mnetor!spectrix!clewis

Phone: (416)-474-1955



Mon, 19 Apr 1993 17:51:00 GMT
 
 [ 10 post ] 

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