Hypocrisy on animal tests

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Dr Simon Festing (Letters, 5 November) accuses David Martin, MEP, of regurgitating misleading propaganda, while doing precisely that himself.

Dr Festing claims that experiments on monkeys have led to treatments for conditions such as stroke and Parkinson's disease, but this is not true. In fact, scientists acknowledge that one of the main reasons for our lack of effective stroke treatments is that tests in animals, particularly monkeys, have been so misleading.

Everything we know about Parkinson's disease has been learned from human patients, not monkeys. It is by studying humans and their tissues that we will find the answers to these terrible diseases.

Mr Martin calls for modern, effective research, but Dr Festing, who is paid to defend animal research, hypocritically accuses him of blocking progress.

(DR) MARGARET CLOTWORTHY

Safer Medicines Trust

PO Box 62720, London