The juxtaposition in the Nov. 15, 1993, issue of The Scientist--Nobel laureate David Hubel's thoughtful essay regarding the threat to medical progress posed by the animal rights movement ("Animal Rights Movement Threatens Progress Of U.S. Medical Research," page 11) and the letter by antivivisectionist Neal Barnard (page 12)--was interesting, to say the least.

In his article, Hubel pointed out the ties between the terrorist Animal Liberation Front and the above-ground People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. A January 1992 publication of the Office of Technology Assessment (Technology Against Terrorism: Structuring Security) links these groups with Barnard's own organization, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, whose views, the OTA report notes, appear "to have little support within the medical community" (page 27). Some of Barnard's comments clearly illustrate why this should be the case.

For example, Barnard makes the unsubstantiated claim that more than half the drugs marketed from 1976...

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