Published: 10/23/2022 2:27:03 PM
Modified: 10/23/2022 2:26:52 PM
In the recent My Turn “Cruel and pointless experiments on animals worsen gender inequality” (Gazette, Oct. 20), the writer calls for increased attention to women’s health which is surely a pressing and chronic need. What the writer missed is the tremendous importance of new knowledge that can only come from carefully regulated animal research that can be translated to improve human health. Recognizing this importance, the federal government passed the Animal Welfare Act which sets the standard for the ethical treatment of animals in this context. Further, health-related research that is funded by the National Institutes of Health involving laboratory animals is expected to follow the 3Rs: Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement to permit animal usage only in cases where alternatives are not possible. Ironically, the research of Professor Agnes Lacreuse that is criticized focuses on women’s health and specifically Alzheimer’s disease which has a huge and disproportionate impact on women. Perhaps the writer has been misinformed or misled by the rhetoric of certain special interests targeting the work of dedicated scientists like Dr. Lacreuse. Readers who are interested, instead, in the facts can find them at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/air/index.htm.
Vice Chancellor for Research & Engagement UMass Amherst