Perhaps the most noteworthy “lesson learned” from COVID-19 is that we should heed the advice of experts when it comes to matters of human health. That’s why we’re surprised by Kathleen Parker’s recent editorial “Time to rethink how we use animals to test pharmaceuticals” (Oct.3).

There are significant problems with the data Ms. Parker cites in building her case. She provides a fairly misleading explanation as to why animal and human testing took place concurrently during development of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. When referencing adverse drug reactions, she points to a 23-year old research paper. She also incorrectly implies that non-animal alternatives are able to simulate the entire human body.

In reality, no computer model or other currently available technology can mimic a complete living system. Why? Because we still have a tremendous amount to learn about how the body functions. As a result, animal safety tests remain necessary.

It’s no secret that Americans, including the caring and devoted scientists who Parker unfairly maligns, overwhelmingly love animals. But at the same time, we need to recognize the serious danger of overruling our medical experts when it comes to matters of health and safety.

Paula Clifford
executive director, Americans for Medical Progress
Washington, D.C.

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