A recent post over at Adventures in Ethics and Science points to a rather fascinating anti-animal research screed by a cancer patient. This individual, after having taken advantage of a gignormous amount of animal research in the course of treatment is now regretful:

I have full-blown leukemia and the chemotherapy I’m taking doesn’t seem to be working all that well. And even if it does kick into high gear soon, it’s not a cure, only a brief delay of the disease’s progression. One way or another, my odds aren’t good.
-snip, reorder for clarity-
Throughout the past six years, I have felt terribly guilty about the drugs and procedures I’ve undergone because I know that so many animals have suffered in their development.
Still, I keep popping pills each morning and night, sitting for many hours each week with an IV in my arm, dealing with all the side-effects of treatment, hoping for a miracle. Some people may call me a hypocrite — to take advantage of the benefits of animal research. Let me explain.

The “explanation” boils down to an argument that because animal research has not as yet provided a good cure for what ails the author, and because many things that may initially appear promising in animal models fail to work under clinical conditions in humans, this is evidence that we should not use animal models at all. The logic and ethical arguments are about equally tortured and there are many other bloggers who do a better job on this sort of nonsense. While we are awaiting some respectful insolence or whatnot [Update: didn’t have to wait long; Orac notes that the author was previously Communications director for the PCRM ARA group] , I did have one thing I noticed that requires dissection.
On this one particular issue Janet Stemwedel booted the response* (just a bit) and that motivated this post. The regretful cancer patient stated:

…federal regulations are extremely weak and poorly enforced, and some species — mice, for example — are completely excluded from any protection.

This is an utter falsehood.

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The RFA created for the Challenge Grants is out (RFA-OD-09-003). All the goods are here including the Opening Date (first time a grant can be submitted) of March 27 and the deadline of April 27. As you might have guessed these will be squeezed into the current Council round with initial review in Jun/Jul, Council in August and first possible funding date of Sept 30, 2008.
Then one immediately glances over the other relevant bits of information:

Budget and Project Period. Budget requests should be commensurate with project needs up to a two-year project period. The requested budget may not exceed $500,000 total costs per year for a maximum of $1,000,000 total costs over a two-year project period.
Page Limits: The Research Plan is limited to 12 pages


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