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Holding Scientists Accountable

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  • cohensmilk1
    Holding Scientists Accountable ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Today s featured scientist: Jill M. Tall, PhD Youngstown State University
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1 3:03 AM
      Holding Scientists Accountable
      Today's featured scientist:

      Jill M. Tall, PhD
      Youngstown State University
      Biological Sciences
      One University Plaza
      Youngstown, OH 44555 USA
      ph: (330) 941-1387, fax: (330) 941-1483
      jmtall@ ysu.edu
      On this first Saturday of September, 2007, Youngstown
      State's college football team will open their season
      against highly favored (31 points) Ohio State University.

      Frenzied students will yell, cheerleaders cheer, the
      band will play on, mascots will act silly, beer will be
      consumed in pre-game tailgating parties, athletes will
      run and pass and kick and score. All the while, few
      members of Youngstown's academic community will be aware
      of the dirty hush-hush secret horror being conducted
      within the university's guarded animal research
      laboratory. There is no reason to stand up and cheer for
      Youngstown U. today.

      More than five years ago, I came across a horribly
      torturous rat study which added nothing to human
      advancement other than advancing the career of one
      zealous graduate student. I discussed that flawed
      study with the scientist in question, hoping that
      my effort would result in something good. I related
      that conversation in a Notmilk column (April 18, 2002).

      This week, I came across a similarly ridiculous study
      published in the August 9, 2007 issue of the Journal
      of Pain. One of the authors was the same young woman
      with whom I had spoken to five years earlier.

      In this 2007 study, rats were surgically invaded and nerves
      in their spinal column were cut so that signals to various
      limbs and internal organs were eliminated. This procedure
      is called a sympathectomy. Rats were then pricked in the
      paws and pain thresholds were determined for each laboratory
      The April 18, 2002 column, revisited


      The headline read:

      "A Diet Rich in Soy Products May Help Soothe Pain From

      As I eagerly read the good-news article, my anticipated joy
      turned to extreme sadness and frustration:


      Scientists took male Sprague-Dawley rats and hurt them by
      injecting them with a chemical substance called Freund's

      The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) calls the
      use of Freund's Complete Adjuvant (FCA) a "painful

      USDA defines "painful procedure" as:

      "...any procedure that would reasonably be expected to cause
      more than slight or momentary pain and/or distress in a
      human being to which the procedure is being applied."

      USDA allows the use of FCA to:

      "To insure the most humane treatment of the lab animals
      while obtaining necessary scientific data."

      Jill Tall, the senior author, and colleagues induced pain in
      laboratory rats, and then (incorrectly) concluded that soy
      helped to reduce pain. How sad.

      What is even sadder is that I called Jill Tall and had a
      lovely talk with her. Jill is a post-doctoral graduate, and
      she has enormous passion for her work.

      I find her study to be extremely flawed, and told her why.

      I cannot help but like her. I just hate the pain that she
      causes animals while performing futile research in the name
      of science.

      Early on in our conversation, I asked Jill how she could
      perform a digestive study on rats, and apply her data to
      humans, when rats have completely different enzymes, and do
      not even have gall bladders. When I told her that rats lack
      this hepatic organ, her response was:

      "I did not know that."

      Jill compared rats eating soy protein to rats eating milk
      protein (casein), and concluded that soy helped to reduce
      pain. What she did not consider was that milk protein helps
      to induce pain. I explained to her that casein is extremely
      allergenic, and that after humans eat casein they produce
      histamines, then mucous. Swelling and pain results. Her

      "I did not know that."

      Jill will one day have her paper published in the
      prestigious Journal of Pain. I kid you not. There is such a
      journal. (Tel: 319-335-7941).

      Had the Marquis de Sade been a scientist, his publication of
      choice would have been the Journal of Pain. Dr. Mengele (of
      Nazi fame) and Jeffrey Hahmer most certainly would have been

      Jill and I discussed animal rights issues. She told me that
      she does not enjoy giving animals pain, and does so in the
      name of science. I understand her. I once said the same
      thing when I held innocent lives in my hand and causes
      similar pain and death. Jill said:

      "I am quite the animal advocate myself. I am convinced that
      researchers make the best pet owners."

      She may be right. Nietzche once said:

      "You can never understand life until you hold death in your

      Jill understands that life is precious. She just does not
      understand the futility of animal research.

      We had a friendly conversation, and Jill brought up the
      issue of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
      (PETA). She surprised me by saying:

      "I have to draw my line in the sand. If I had those PETA
      people in front of me, I would ask them to justify what they
      do in light of the millions of people saved by the polio
      vaccine, which was developed by using animal research."

      I told Jill that the polio vaccine would have been approved
      20 years earlier had it not been for the chimpanzees. I
      explained that chimpanzees died horrible deaths when
      injected with the polio vaccine. Rely upon animal studies
      and one betrays humans. Her response:

      "I did not know that."

      Fact is, the polio vaccine was not approved for human use
      until the completion of human trials. Like all new
      pharmaceuticals, one never learns anything by animal
      experimentation. Rat studies are just crap shoots. Sometimes
      they work and sometimes they do not. It is not until human
      studies are performed that mankind learns the true effects
      of a new pharmaceutical.

      Jill wants to do amazing things. She wants to cure cancers.
      She wants to help people. She does not want to give pain to
      animals, yet that is the system that exists, and therein is
      both the problem and solution.

      To Jill: We betray both the animals and the humans by
      producing pain.

      A rat cannot say:

      "I have a headache. My stomach aches. I feel dizzy.
      Something is wrong."

      A human can do all of the above, and human tissue samples
      now exist representing every form of disease known to

      Do rats do better by drinking soymilk? Who gives a damn?
      Does soymilk help soothe pain in rats? This is something
      that I do not want to know.

      Youngstown State University's website:


      There are thousands of email addresses to be found at
      their website. Click on one of more of those email
      addresses and plant a seed so that this column educates
      Youngstown's community about a horror story that needs
      to immediately end.

      Robert Cohen
      i4crob@ earthlink.net
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