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Animal Rights Groups Get Close and Personal
As Santayana said, "Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim."Â The animal rights movement is following this path, and, in the process, alienating everyone.
Some on the more rational side of this movement have reportedly asked Pope Benedict to stop wearing fur trimmed garments. (Never mind that the ermine involved are likely to have lost their livesÂ long ago).
But those on the radical fringe are taking an increasingly violent "personal" approach.Â Pharmalot recently reported that one of GSK's manufacturing facilities in on "high alert," expecting a possible attack.
But they're also going beyond factories, targeting individuals. A few months ago, activists vandalized the home and cars of a professor and GSK researcher in the U.K., because he works at GSK and GSK does business with Huntington Life Sciences. More from a local newspaper. Â
And the attacks extend to business partners of GSK's. In the U.S., the Animal Liberation Front recently vandalized the home of an employee of Wachovia Securities, because his EMPLOYER investsÂ in GSK, and, by association, supports animal testing at Huntington Life Sciences.Â A U.K. securities firm (and GSK partner's)Â employee's house was similarly vandalized.
Animal testing may be repugnant, but until in vitro techniques are sufficiently advanced, it's still necessary.Â Europe is leading the chargeÂ in developing alternatives, but the news item made me wonder: Who are the leaders in in-vitro testing today and what are they up to?Â A very quick search revealed the following:
Cellial, based in France
Cytonet, based in Germany
U.K.-based Gentronix, which offers genotoxicity tests
Invitro ADMET Laboratories, LLC. , which just entered a contract with EPA.
OthersÂ will be foundÂ among the members of the IVTIP, the In Vitro Testing Industrial Platform. (And apparently Huntington Labs is a member and is doing some testing development in this area too.)