Just the Facts
Go, Paul, Go!
PCRM’s D. Paul Miller of Normal, Ill., put veggie power to work, winning gold medals in the 20- and 40-kilometer bicycle race, as well as two silver medals and a bronze in the 80 to 84 age division in the Senior Olympic Nationals in Orlando, Fla., in October. Congratulations, Paul!
Corneas Grown in Laboratory
Researcher May Griffith at the University of Ottawa has found a way to build a human cornea—the clear outer layer of the eye—in the laboratory. While it may eventually replace cadaver corneas for transplants, a more immediate use is as a replacement for the Draize eye irritancy test, the crude 1940s-era method that tests chemicals on rabbits’ eyes. May’s research was reported in Science in December.
FDA Considers Shutting down Coulston Lab
The Food and Drug Administration is considering shutting down the Coulston Foundation, a primate testing laboratory in Alamogordo, N.M., cited for horrendous mistreatment of chimpanzees and suspect medical data gathered in studies of two drugs and one medical device.
Researchers Fail to Disclose Deaths in Gene Studies
Scientists studying gene therapy for heart disease failed to notify the National Institutes of Health about deaths that occurred in experimental trials. Six patients died in studies conducted by Jeffrey Isner of Tufts University in Boston and Ronald Crystal of the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, who head two competing teams testing genetic treatments that grow new blood vessels around blocked arteries as an alternative to surgery. Researchers and their drug company sponsors aim to minimize reporting to protect patent information. A teenager died in a gene therapy experiment at the University of Pennsylvania last September. It is not yet clear if the new deaths were related to the experimental treatment or the underlying medical condition.
Apple or Pear Juice Makes Babies Restless
Researchers at Miami Children’s Hospital found that babies who have a serving of apple or pear juice become restless, while those getting white grape juice sleep better. Apple and pear juice contain sorbitol, which grape juice does not, and have a poorer mixture of fructose and glucose. The result is that apple and pear juices tended to produce gas, boosting the infants’ metabolism and keeping them awake.
Cole CR, Rising R, Lifshitz F. Consequences of incomplete carbohydrate absorption from fruit juice consumption in infants. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999;153:1098-1102.
And We’re Not Too Crazy about Your Dairy Farm, Either
Richard Lee, of Clatsop County, Ore., won’t be able to use his dairy farm as a breeding ground for dogs to be sold for medical experiments. Oregon Health Sciences University had already bought 27 dogs from Lee when the county government denied his request to increase the number of dogs on his property from about 50 to 250.
Lee maintained that his breeding of Labrador retrievers was a form of agriculture, but county officials held that his operation constitutes a kennel under Oregon law and is not allowed on his farmland. PCRM had pushed Clatsop County not to approve Lee’s permit.
Dogs Get Their Day
The British government plans to ban farms that breed dogs for research in the year 2000, effectively eliminating experiments on dogs. The ban was triggered when it was revealed that Viagra was tested on dogs after human trials had already started.
That’ll Buy a Lot of Salad
At the Senior Information Fair in Marin County, Calif., PCRM’s booth won the award for Best Presentation of Information for our Vegetarian Starter Kit and related items. PCRM staffers were surprised to learn that the prize selected by fair organizers was a gift certificate to Rocky’s Quality Meats.
Israel Bans Animal Experiments in Schools
Israeli Minister of Education Yossi Sarid banned animal experiments in schools on December 12. Dissection is not necessary for education, he said, and it is more important to teach students compassion toward animals.
And 170,000 Turkeys Gave Thanks
On Thanksgiving Day, 1999, 170,000 American tables presented one of the new meatless "turkeys." Tofurky (888- 863-8759) and Unturkey (800-335-1959) are available year-round.
TOP PHOTO: © 2000, PHOTODISC