Tuesday, 15th February 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Previously unseen research papers, which were anonymously sent to the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign at the start of 2011, have shed new light on shocking experiments carried out by controversial testing laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences.
The research papers detail invasive experiments which took place on rats, mice, rabbits and rhesus monkeys at HLS’ Cambridgeshire and New Jersey laboratories between the years 2001 and 2010. Substances tested included unleaded gas , grape seed extract , a PCB which has been banned since 1979 , Botox , soybean fiber , and paraffin wax . There were also several duplicate tests for a food additive known as PVA ,  and experiments to test a fragrance that occurs naturally in plants, which is used in cosmetics and perfumes , . An entire summary of all 11 shocking documents can be found in our investigative report, ‘HLS Unmasked’, which can be downloaded from the above link.
All products tested in the documents have already been tested on animals in previous years, resulting in a wealth of data already being available which could be used in place of repeat experiments. In addition, all products that were tested are already circulating on the market, and are already used by humans around the globe on a daily basis. Despite this, thousands of animals have been poisoned and killed inside HLS to pass these products as ‘safe’ – products which are already being consumed by the human population in vast quantities. Furthermore, the vast majority of the substances tested are used mainly in cosmetic products – such as perfumes, soap, and detergents  – and are a far cry from the ‘essential, life-saving research’ that HLS claim to be conducting.
It must also be pointed out that the tests carried out at HLS do not provide any indication as to the actual safety of the substances in question. One document involving the use of rats to test a naturally-occurring scent known as ‘coumarin’, rather frankly concludes that “the rat is a very poor model for humans, and toxicity in the rat cannot be extrapolated to humans” . Another experiment, in which rats are force fed paraffin wax, the conclusion states that the results proved to be “of questionable relevance for human safety evaluation” . This is regardless of the fact that HLS use rats for most of their toxicity testing, yet they openly choose when to uphold or discard the results depending on their desirability. This is extremely dangerous when it comes to safety testing, which should always be based upon reliable, scientific models that give a firm indication of how a product might affect the human body. Instead, HLS choose to use a cheaper and slightly quicker route which they themselves admit cannot even be relied upon for safety evaluation in humans.
These documents are yet more evidence of the sheer lunacy behind the kinds of animal experiments that are allowed to continue inside places like Huntingdon Life Sciences – experiments which must end. HLS have been exposed previously as testing coffee sweetener Splenda , cleaning chemicals , mushroom extract , fermented vegetables  on animals. All animals were killed either during or after experimentation took place.
Says Debbie Vincent of SHAC, “these new research papers reveal, once again, the true horror and idiocy of this failing laboratory. When they are not getting exposed for gross misconduct or severe animal welfare breaches, they are thrust into the spotlight for testing bizarre and useless products on animals – products which we all use already on a daily basis. While cosmetic testing is supposedly banned in the UK, here we see products which are largely used in cosmetics still being tested on vast numbers of animals at HLS. We strongly condemn all experimentation on animals, but this blatant abuse of a gaping legal loophole regarding cosmetic testing is absolutely not acceptable. HLS must finally be made accountable for their cruel and unnecessary experiments which are taking place on a regular basis behind locked doors.”