Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Experiments Involving GMO Animals Are Skyrocketing, Study Finds

Published on August 14, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

 

A GMO mouse with a gene related to hair growth removed from its genome, at left, next to a mouse with an unaltered genome. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/cc)

Experiments involving genetically engineered animals have nearly tripled in Germany in the past 10 years, driven by a burgeoning global industry that involves inventing and patenting genetically altered species for scientific research, says a new study commissioned by Germany’s Green Party and conducted by the research group Testbiotech.

“We must not allow any more animals to be tortured.”

—Nicole Maisch, Green Party of Germany”The massive increase in animal testing in the genetics field is unacceptable,”said Nicole Maisch, the Green Party’s parliamentary spokesperson for the protection of animals and consumer policy, to the newspaper Der Westen.

“Particularly when the experiments’ usefulness from a medical standpoint is extremely questionable, or when the trials have revealed themselves to be unsuccessful,” Maisch said, “we must not allow any more animals to be tortured.”

The study, which was released Wednesday and shared with Süddeutsche Zeitung and newspapers owned by Germany’sFunke Mediengruppe, found that nearly 950,000 animals were subjected to experiments in Germany in 2013 alone, and a full third of those involved genetically modified animals.

The genomes of mice, rats, and fish are being tinkered with the most, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung, but rabbits and pigs are popular choices, too.

Moreover, Süddeutsche Zeitung notes:

In contrast to conventional animal testing, the research on genetically manipulated animals is especially deadly, says Silke Strittmatter of the organization Doctors Against Animal Experiments: “We can safely assume that up to 54 animals die for the creation of a single genetically modified animal.” To achieve the desired outcome, scientists must experiment with many variations, which in many cases involves breeding multiple generations and then killing them. In this fashion, the number of genetically altered animals is increasing, despite the fact that in the last two years, for the first time the number of animals used for traditional experimental trials has fallen.

A race to patent and profit from genetically modified species is driving the growing global market for such creatures, observes the German newspaper: “Researchers patent altered animals, such as ‘knockout mice,’ and sign license deals with corporations, which in turn aggressively market the animals to laboratories—as “custom-manipulated rodents,” for example.”

The newspaper continues:

In the USA, biotech corporations market patented animals aggressively. [Study author Christoph] Then describes a downright “price war.” Patents for new genetic engineering techniques then lead to more animal trials. In recent years, patent applications were even submitted for genetically modified primates and great apes—and some of those were approved. It is for this reason that the speaker for the Green faction on genetic engineering, Harald Ebner, is calling for a Europe-wide ban on patents on living things.

Ebner also told Süddeutsche Zeitung that he fears so-called “free trade” deals such as theTrans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will lead to the worldwide dispersal of products from genetically modified animals.

Read More HERE

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