Singapore government supports animal testing. Do you?

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We've all heard about how cruel animal testing can be. We've all seen the email circulated with lists of products to avoid. But do you know that Singapore is a huge advocate for animal testing, i.e. we support it?

You will never see such things reported in the local newspapers because press information is indirectly controlled by the government. I wouldn't have heard about it if I didn't read an article by Pamela Anderson in the Jan 2010 issue Asian Geographic stating that animal testing is on the rise in Singapore. (My first thought was, "Pamela Anderson writes??" She may be widely known as a bimbo but she taught me something that I didn't know). Of course, I wasn't going to believe it just like that so I did some research on the Internet.

An Australian newspaper, The Age, reported the following:

"Singapore has been particularly aggressive in attracting biotech scientists from around the world in its efforts to develop its own biotechnology sector. Its preparedness not only to host animal testing facilities but to subsidise them is part of its sales pitch. Philip Yeo, chairman of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research, has said of his drive to recruit top scientists in the field to Singapore that "I promise them secure funding for their research, reasonable time horizons, the best facilities I can afford and enough mice for their research."

"Research institutions in Singapore have had to follow new, standardised guidelines on the use and care of research animals since November 15, 2004. Violations can result in up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $S10,000 ($A7900). However jail sentences are unlikely for anything but the most appalling transgressions. And the maximum fine represents little more than the price of one US research monkey. Accordingly, Singapore is an animal experimenter's dream. And it shows the Singapore Government's brand of authoritarianism can be profitable."

I searched Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore's website for the guidelines. I found the Guidelines on the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes to be vague in defining what can or cannot be done to the animals.

A writer at a website dedicated to providing reference points on informed discussions on animal welfare in animal testing agree. He wrote, "Although Singapore does have recently approved guidelines governing animal testing, which do carry fines and prison sentences of up to one year, these jail sentences are not likely to occur for a crime unless it's particularly abusive. Therefore, other abuses can still occur. In fact, even the maximum fine that may be imposed is approximately equivalent to the cost of one primate." -
Reproduced courtesy of www.AboutAnimalTesting.co.uk - informed discussion on animal welfare in animal testing

What are some common tests done on the animals?
The products to be tested are rubbed onto their skin, squirted into their eyes, or forced to be inhaled, pumped into animals' stomachs causing severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, bleeding, paralysis with the goal of doing it until they die. Can you imagine that being done to you? The animals don't feel any less pain than you. [See video at PETA website.]

Isn't it safer to test on animals before human beings use the products?
A product can be sold even if it has blinded or hurt an animal. Think about it: there are companies such as Estee Lauder and The Body Shop that don't test on animals and human being are unharmed, so is there really a need to test on animals?


What can we do?
The more animal-tested products you buy, the more animals will be harmed!
Any attempt to fight against the Singapore government would be futile.
Instead, stop buying products from ALL companies that test on animals.

I have extracted some common brands from the list at http://search.caringconsumer.com. This is not an attempt to discredit these companies; This is the TRUTH.

Companies that still test on animals (do not buy list):
Johnson & Johnson (Clean & Clear, Listerine, Lubriderm, Neutrogena, Rembrandt, ROC)
L'Oreal (Biotherm, Cacharel, Garnier, Giorgio Armani, Helena Rubinstein, LancĂ´me, Matrix Essentials, Maybelline, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Redken, Soft Sheen, Vichy)
Proctor & Gamble Co. (Vicks, Olay, Clairol, Crest, Gillette, Pantene)
Unilever (Axe, Dove, Lever Bros., Ponds, Suave, Sunsilk, Suave)
Shiseido Cosmetics
Schering-Plough (Bain de Soleil, Coppertone, Dr. Scholl's),

Now, you must be thinking, "Wow, what long list of stuff I shouldn't buy! What can I buy?" If you think this is a long list, think of long line of animals waiting to be tortured.

Here are some companies that do not test on animals (safe to buy list) or you can search "Cruelty-Free Companies by Product Type" at http://search.caringconsumer.com:
Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
Calvin Klein Cosmetics
Crabtree & Evelyn
The Body Shop
Dermalogica
Estee Lauder
Eucerin
MAC Cosmetics
L.A. Girl Cosmetics
La Mer
L'Occitane
Revlon
Rocca Skincare

As you can see from this list, it is not difficult to find products that are not tested on animals. Usually you will find the words "dermatologist-tested", "ophthalmologist-tested" or "no animals have been harmed in testing of this product" printed on the packaging.
Remember: Every purchase you make or refuse to make shows your stand on whether you support animal testing!

The Singapore government supports animal testing. Do you?

27 comments:

David said...

Yu-Kym,

I have to part ways with you on this topic.

While animal testing should be minimized. Many products cannot be tested for complete safety withou animal testing.

Some, (most I am aware of) make every effort to minimize the discomfort of test animals.

PETA's video sensalnalizes the worst cases of animal testing.

Animals who are being subjected to study should be treated with care and respect, and deserve complete and humane care before, during, and after any necessary procedures. Ideally, the subjects of animal testing should be treated with no less compassion than an animal undergoing a necessary procedure at a veterinarian's office. Caution should be taken to minimize fear and discomfort for the animal.

Studies that follow the principles of humane animal testing would allow the subjects to have normal social opportunities, adequate space, quality food, and a sanitary environment, unless the specific nature of the study makes this an impossibility. If suitable, the animals involved in the studies would then be re-homed to shelters or rehabilitation services, rather than euthanized by default. The ASPCA has guidelines for institutions that carry out animal testing.

David

Anonymous said...

Yu-Kym,

the guidelines for animal testing are usually governed by a vague set of rules. Usually it evolves around not causing excessive suffering of animals. I think animal testing is a necessary chore if you want to do research. Gone are the days where we could experiment on humans. E.g. the Milgram Experiment & Unit 731. All of these experiments do produce valuable insights, so I would say that the means justify the end.

De Maitre

Jungleroar said...

minimize animal testing, but whom shall be tested with?

Anonymous_CB said...

Maybe that is SG govt medium/long term plan to bring P0melo Anderson over to strip naked for PETA along Orchard road.

:-p

That will bring some publicity to SG tourism.

GS Lew said...

Yes!

Anonymous said...

Part of the reason why the US has lagged behind the rest of the world in terms of scientific breakthroughs is because of the conservative policies during the Bush administration.

I suppose as Singaporeans, we already know that pragmatism and money rules. So the usual argument follows:

Science and Tech = improvement = financial survival

I'm neither in defense/support, (as SG-ean, apathetic) but I have a friend who is a researcher and he says that the mice are treated with as much care as possible and care is taken to ensure that the least numbers of animals are used.

Higher order animals, primates, will only be tested on if vital (expensive too!) and there is a lot of paper work to clear in order to get the permit.

Feel better?

David said...

Anon,

I did not realize Singaporean's suffered from BDS, (Bush-derangement-syndrome), President Bush's administration allowed the FDA and the Department of the Interior to regulate animal testing. PETA makes a point of finding the worst offenders and then tries to sell such abuse as the industry standard.

Computer modeling is imperfect, and leads to many problems when drugs enter human testing.

Do not blame President Bush for not following animal rights extremist every wish.

David

Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love.

-- Aristotle

Anonymous said...

Those who object to using animals to test products;
(1) if you have a facial disfiguring disease or cancer, would you refuse a medication that has been tested on animals?
(2) medication for animals also need to be tested - on animals,
(3) before a drug can be approved by the FDA of the USA, it has to be tested on human subjects too; to calibrate the optimum dosage.
My wife has Hep.B. There is no cure. Hep. B has a high chance of causing cancer in the liver. She went on a experimental drug testing to suppress the Hep. B virus. The side-effect of the drug was subsequently found to cause brain tumor in mice & the testing stopped immediately.
If participation or testing on living beings are discouraged, , progress in finding a cure or treatment for diseases & ailments would be very slow!
If you have not been tested for the Hep. B virus, do it! Get tested & ONLY if you are not a carrier, get an Anti Hep. B injection. Once you are infected, the jab cannot work.
Regards, Leo

Ng said...

Sincere thanks Yu-Kym, for speaking up for the animals. Humans are paranoid and pessimistic. Survival or betterment of our own species is never dependent on harming other species. We are all so conditioned to think that someone has to suffer, it's either you or I. Why can't it be a win-win situation?

We will never be able to find the ultimate cure(s) for diseases by using animals as scapegoats. They are not our species, so they can't probably be the best test objects anyway.

Diseases are not to be cured by drugs, but by a healthy wholesome diet and lifestyle. Drugs only cover up present symptoms and give rise to future more deadly diseases.

Noor said...

Animal testing is disgusting. We are a world full of consumers, and we want anything no matter the price. What people do not realize is that we are NOT talking about pharmaceuticals (which I still have my own opinions about and my brother, the physician, would argue with me)...we're talking about stupid materialistic products (basically crap), like makeup and lotions. Sorry, but if you can't make makeup, lotion, or other products without animal testing, then you have fallen behind the technology curve and should be banished (I'm also in business school - graduating soon). It's pathetic to see stone age cruelty still being practiced in business. I'm a total girly-girl (just run with it) and LOVE makeup. Everything I put on my face and body is 100% cruelty-free. There's no excuse for this type of stupidity. And for those who support animal testing...you need to catch up with the times and put your sense of compassion before your personal desires. It's called not being "self-absorbed" (GROSS).

Anonymous said...

I hope it will not come a day when a love one (eg spouse) needs a drug to save his/her life! And the other half has to deny its use coz that drug that will save him/her has been developed thru animal testing!

That would be the truest test of the individual who believes all drugs thats developed from animal testing shd be boycotted.

curious cat

Sarah Jessica Lee said...

Yu Kym,

I am with you on a lot of these matters. I am fighting for animal rights which at the same time, I am trying very hard to eliminate animal tested products.

One thing I have reluctantly accept is that, humans are the worse of its own kind on planet Earth. We are a part of it. We either make it or break it. Animal testing will go on forever but to those who are against it and trying very hard to be healthy to whatever extent, kudos to us.

As long as we try, we are doing our part. For those who are in need of medication, we cannot blame them. As I say, we are the worse of its kind. Thank you for your conscious effort, Yu Kym. Keep up the good humane work.

However, I have always believed, with all the brains scientists have, I am sure if they try harder, they can come up with non-animal- tested medication. Lets hope for the best.

David said...

Noor,

Animal testing might be digusting, but it remains neccessary.

Most, unfortunatley not all labs, treat animals as kindly as possible to minize suffering.

If a big pharma went from computer modeling directly to human testing the adverse side-effects on humans might include a large number of deaths.

Do you prefer that humans, a friend or neighbour die because animal testing never occured?

Nearly every medication you take has been animal tested in the past.

Of course if you prefer, one can go back to living as people did 100 years ago, when TB, dysentery and small pox, (completly eradicated btw,) killed millions.

You cannot have current health care systems without animal testing.

David

David said...

Sarah Jessica,

I must disagree with you!

One can state humans are the worse things. I suspect every glass you view is half empty.

Humanity has achieved much more good than evil.

You can look back in Yu-Kym's archives and I have gone into some great details discussing with others concepts of right & wrong, good and evil and why and how people and do great harm to others.

If humans were so absolutley horrible we would have nuked ourselves out of existence during the 70s or 80s.

While conflicts will always exist, more of us exist peacefully than ever before.

I can comminicate with you from another continent, and in the process hope that both of us will grow in understanding the other.

Yu-Kym and I have many spirited and often far ranging disagreements, but we have also learned from the other.

You have to bend a little.

David

I quit being afraid when my first venture failed and the sky didn't fall down.

~Allen H. Neuharth

Anonymous said...

Sarah Jessica Lee,

What does this really mean? Quote "For those who are in need of medication, we cannot blame them". Are you for or against animal testing or on the fence?

If you or your love one are critically in need of a particular medication and no other option is available, would you decline it because it has undergone animal medical testings?

Which is more humane? To allow animal tested drugs to save a fellow human or to ban animal testings to save the animal?

If the brainy scientists refrain from animal testings but take time to come up with an effective drug even if they are trying harder, are you or your love going to decline an effective animal-tested drug when you need the cure to save a life now?

silli cat

Anonymous said...

Ng,
what about genetic hereditary diseases? I doubt a healthy lifestyle will work. For such a case, are you sure there's a win-win situation? Not all drugs cover up present symptoms and they would usually give rise to future more deadly diseases should the patient not consume his or her medication consistently.

It is true that a win-win situation would be ideal but in Nature, it is only practical for a species to ensure its own survival. THe best way would be to treat the animals with care and respect while conducting our research.

~P

Anonymous said...

silli cat,

It is only human to allow animal tested drugs to save a fellow human and humane to ban animal testing to save the animal and also save a fellow human.

~P

Anonymous said...

P,

Yes, its humane to allow animal tested drugs to save a human being.

In the same breath, you also said its humane to ban animal testing to save the animal and also save another human. Yes I agree too if this is possible and there are cases where this is so. So here is win win.

But the main question is this: Because its not always possible to save a human being without resorting to animal tested drugs, and this is the reality of the world today, how can we be humane to both the humans and and the animals at the same time?

This is the qn i would pose to animal lovers who love the animals more than they love saving humans to save the animals. Would they sacrifice their critically ill love ones to save the animals instead? No one has yet the true courage to say so.

Cos if they do claim they love the animals more and are willing to wait forever for a non-animal tested drug to save their love one, I would wish them this opportunity and want to see their faces when their love one wait in vain and dies because of their stupigdity and naivety. I love to see hypocrites eat their words. Ive got no sympathy for hypocrites.

silli cat

Luigi said...

@ David, the reason why we didnt nuke each other was not because we cared about our enemies or other ordinary men across the continent, we didnt nuke each other because we cared about ourselves. But anyway, the argument that its the animals' life against a human's life is really flawed. Firstly, more than half of animal testing is done on cosmethics or other stuff besides medical purposes.So theres a large chunk of animals used for superfluous purposes such as make-up. Secondly, animal-tested products do not garantee that it will have the same effect. Thirdly, certain scientist try to recreate diseases that dont even exist in the animal in the first place. 1 such incident was that a wire was tied to an artery of the heart of a beagle or something to recreate a heart attack. Come on, heart attack is caused by cholestrol.
Hence, some of this is simply bad science to the point of unneccesary for majority of the cases. For people that say that animal testing saves lives, it also works the other way round. Why cant you put it, how would you feel if the hope that an animal-tested drug that was supposed to cure your relative from a debilitating disease was dashed when simply did not work or had horrific side effects due to differences in animals and humans? Not to mention the pain that animals have suffered, all for nothing.So please, there are 2 sides to everything, dont just say it like the trade-off is 100%. Sure there are cases where it may justify itself, like the blue baby syndrome, but there are other cases where it fails too.

Bean said...

Someone mentioned this:
Diseases are not to be cured by drugs, but by a healthy wholesome diet and lifestyle.

I would like to add something to this.

No matter how healthy your lifestyle is, there bound to be a time when someone irresponsible will pass you a disease which is not entirely your fault.

Some of the examples are TB, Influenza, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Chicken Pox, and even HIV.

TB , Influenza and even chicken pox is spread airborne. You might be in a plane and someone next to you starts coughing and that's it, you got infected, no matter how healthy you are or how strong your immune system is.

Hepatitis A and Typhoid is spread through contaminated food.

There are cases of AIDS victims who contracted HIV after visiting their dentist. How they got infected is still a mystery to scientists.

This is the time when you will beg for a cure. Yes, animal testing may be cruel but try to tell those who needs a cure.

xinzhi said...

Hey guys, I seen some of the comments that says if we do not test on animals, then how can we test the products we use?

For one, there are other ways you can test the product without the usage of any live animal, human or non-. For example using cell culture other tech ways to produce skin in a lab, the company can test these products on the model of human skin instead.

There are some that say these alternatives are cheaper and quicker too, since you are not dealing with live animals, but a piece of skin.

What's more, the alternative would be human skin, not animal skin. We all know that animals are still genetically different from humans, no matter how similar. (There are cases where medicine is proven safe on animals but not humans, like the thalidomide tragedy)

So yep, this is my argument against animal testing.

Perhaps it has worked in the past, however, different ethical reasoning and new voices are calling out for a change. Companies and scientists can use this alternatives, which I'm sure they have heard of, to replace animal testing in less important procedures like cosmetics and beauty products testing.

Anonymous said...

I agree that animal testing is bad?

But that is the only way for science (as in actual research for medicine and surgery, NOT the beauty products) to be translational to human use in clinical settings. Would any human offer themselves to take the drug which allow treament for cancer/high blood pressure/heart diseases in place of the poor animals???

Isaac said...

Yu-Kym,

I admire you for your forthright comments.

Even though animal testing is needed for some cases so that the greater good and higher order Humans can survive and praise God who created them in His Image, there is still no need for us to support such companies.

Just as there is no need for us to support companies that promote gambling, smoking, war.

It is a matter of choice for us, as human beings, to decide what is right and what is wrong.

It is one thing to say that mice are treated humanely whilst in practice, cancer is created in them, brought to the desired conditions and then the medicine is tested for efficacy. The only way to justify this is to assume that humans has more right to exist than mice. That is a value decision.

Should animal testing be outlawed? If so, should there be less medication available? Such an argument is very different from saying that the Singapore Government is better than the Bush Administration because the latter has more safeguards for the protection of animals.

As for the testing of animals for vanity products, you have given a good list and I will research them for the purpose of investing in them.

Once again, my thanks to you. I came across your blog because I was trying to justify my investments in biotechnology.

With regards

Anonymous said...

NO! To animal testing!!!

Anonymous said...

Estee Lauder and its affiliate brands test on animals. They were taken off Peta's cruelty-free list.

Anonymous said...

Animals should not be used for testing. At all. If the products are ultimately meant for human consumption, then humans should be the one to be tested on. Who gives humans the right to mercilessly kill other species and say that it is a justified action?! Animals have feelings too, and humans should not make use of their "superiority" to harm others. If there are no willing human subjects, then DON'T do the tests! Simple as that. Afterall, everyone will eventually die one day, no one can live forever, so even if it means to test on medical stuff, its not right to test on the poor defenceless animals.

Anonymous said...

I think that maybe animal testing cannot be replaced in the medical field. However, why do cosmetic products need to be tested on animals? It is completely unnecessary! Medicine may be a need for some people with critical diseases, but cosmetic products (which include shampoo and facial foam) are already very abundant. Even if we want to use new ingredients, there are human cell models to use. Why do you have to make animals suffer to make new cosmetic products?