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However, it moves

                                                                                                                Fabrizia Pratesi de Ferrariis

Since 2005, when Nature, world most reliable scientific journal, published a famous Allison Abbot article entitled "More than a cosmetic change", the voices of dissent to animal experimentation have become gradually more and more insistent, infiltrating sectors before staunchly opposed to it.

2007 was the year when we lost the world most important antivivisection movement protagonist, Hans Ruesch, who, with this famous essay "Naked Empress", unraveled the multiple errors and horrors hidden behind what was then accredited as "scientific research" or "good of humanity" search. It is possible to read on this date the sign of fate: we can say that Hans Ruesch had somehow completed his mission. As a matter of fact 2007 was the milestone year of animal experimentation and the beginning of a new, very promising, scientific paradigm.

It that year the U.S. National Research Council gave the first push to the old scientific paradigm widespread all over the world, who had preserved, even in the twenty-first century, a tradition of obscurantist nonsense, a barbarism of the past: animal experimentation. The U.S. National Research Council gave a push publishing the report (required by federal inspection agencies FDA, EPA, Nieh):

Toxicology, says the report, is approaching an epochal event, comparable with the discovery of penicillin, the DNA or the birth of the first computer.

It is going to benefit of the revolutions that happened in biology and genetics (...) The toxicology tests will be transferred from a system based on the study of the animal to an entire system based primarily on in vitro methods, the latter able to evaluate changes in biological processes with the observation of cells (...) preferably of human origin". During the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) annual congress, the NRC suggestion was endorsed by the main control agencies (NIEHS, EPA, FDA, etc) which signed a memorandum of understanding on a five-year cellular toxicology national project.

The United States decision, supported by international bodies such as the OECD, raises expectations on all continents. However, in the same year, the European Union acted in the opposite direction.... The EU edited the draft for the revision of Law 86/609 making recourse to tests substitute of animal experimentation in many ways more difficult... then, on 8 September 2010, Brussels produced the "Directive of Shame" the 2010/63.

Today we are forced to great efforts to overcome difficulties and hostility that in the humanity history have always accompanied the greatest scientific revolutions (read Thomas Kuhn texts to understand that the change of methodological assumptions of a a scientific community has always required long times and heroic efforts; reflect on the vexations suffered by Galileo Galilei).

Efforts magnified by the interests of major economic powers, but that does not prevent us to:

  • work for a temporary suspension of Directive 2010/63,
  • oppose to the adoption of a law that does not change the reality of hundreds of millions of animals tortured each year in order to give an alibi to chemical manufacturers,
  • oppose to the fact that chemical substances which invade our lives and environment are judged on the damage produced to rodents (several scientific studies demonstrate how important is the role of chemical pollution in the increase of diseases),
  • do everything is possible so that the opinion expressed by citizens will not be neglected. They showed their opposition to animal experimentation, asking for the application of Article 13 of the EU Treaty which requires respect for the animals, defining them "sentient beings"(2006 survey Eurispes)
  • do everything possible to prevent that the EU will make an unacceptable step back in the scientific field, becoming the rear-light worldwide in the history of scientific progress.


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