Hans Ruesch


A Nobel Prize Winner testifying against vivisection (1989)


The opponents of vivisection received quite unexpected help in 1985 from the notorious Dr. Hans-Joachim Cramer, who directs the Press and Informa­tion Department of the German Federal Association of the Pharmaceutical In­dustry ("Bundersverband der Pharmazeutischen Industrie e.V.") - an office which demands great inventive talent and strong nerves. In the magazine Medi­kament und Meinung (February 15, 1985) he fell into a trap of his own making when he promised to expose the alleged "faking and falsifications" in the quo­tations of the antivivisectionists, and then unconsciously proceeded to prove precisely the opposite. Dr. Cramer complains that the name of Nobel Prize win­ner Ernst Boris Chain crops up frequently in the writings of the antivivisection­ists, and that he is on each occasion deliberately quoted falsely. Cramer writes:


At the Contergan (Thalidomide) trial Chain is said to have stated that the results of animal experiments cannot be extrapolated to human beings. Now, what did he really say? On February 2, 1970 he stated before the District Court in Alsdorf: 'No animal experiment on a medicament, even if it is carried out on several animal species including primates under all conceivable conditions, can give an absolute guarantee that the medicament tested in this way will act the same on human beings, for in many respects man is not the same as animals...' (quotation from the records, published in Der Contergan Prozess, Verlag Wis­senschaft und Forschung GmbH, Berlin, pages 17-19).


Thanks to Dr. Cramer, the reader now knows precisely what Nobel Prize winner Chain, summoned by the accused manufacturers Chemie Grunenthal as a defence witness and appearing after traveling from afar, actually said under oath at the Thalidomide trial – and it is precisely what the opponents of vivisec­tion have always stated. The fact that Chain, a vivisector over many years, con­tradicted himself shortly afterwards by adding that animal experiments repre­sent "a minimising of the risk for humans" (and this, of all things, just when the Thalidomide tragedy was under discussion, the international scale of which is known to be attributable solely to the "safety tests" which had previously been carried out and repeated over many years!), once again shows the confused state of mind of the advocates of vivisection, who would like to pretend that animal torture is not carried out simply for reasons of personal gain or childish curios­ity, but in order to protect humans from being harmed by medicaments, or even to heal them of illnesses.


In 1972, a book was published about the manner in which the drug manu­facturers, who are facing prosecution, obtain defence witnesses from among their scientist allies in the pseudo-medical industry. Entitled Thalidomide and the Power of the Drug Companies, it was published by Penguin Books and writ­ten by Henning Sjoestroem, a Swedish lawyer, and Robert Nilsson, a researcher in the chemical industry. But care was taken to have this documentation, very incriminating for the entire pharmaceutical industry, quickly swept under the carpet exactly the same fate as that suffered by similar exposes of earlier and later date.


[1000 Doctors (and many more) against vivisection]