Insightful radio interview with primate experimenter Prof. Roger Lemon
We’d like to thank Pippa Jones from Talk Radio Europe for securing an interview with primate experimenter Prof. Roger Lemon.
Prof. Lemon ties himself in scientific knots throughout the interview, eventually inferring that experiments on macaque monkeys are worthless because the chimpanzee model – our closest DNA relative – has been abandoned on scientific grounds! In the words of Prof. Lemon:
“In the case of chimpanzees there was, you know, overwhelming evidence, er, that the amount of contribution that was made from the sort of research that was being done, er, no longer justified their use”.
What does this say about Lemon’s lesser model, the macaque monkey, as ‘predictive for human response’? We’ll allow Lemon to finish that question for us:
“I’m just saying that at the moment I feel, from what I have seen that the balance is such that the work is justified and will continue to be justified because some of the things we have to deal with are very, er, special to primates and, er, the monkey is he best available model that we’re left with”.
Oh dear. Not a convincing argument about the ability of non-human primates to predict the responses of human patients: people who are critically ill and urgently need the best human-based, medical research that money can buy.
During the interview, Prof. Lemon also states that animals absolutely have ‘predictive value’ for human patients – and then he immediately contradicts this claim when pressed by interviewer Pippa Jones. This is disgraceful behaviour from a neuroscientist, who should have the best interests of critically ill patients at heart.
Make no mistake! Prof Lemon lies about up-to-date human medical knowledge throughout the entire interview. We are especially shocked to hear another regurgitation of the bread and butter claim by animal modellers, that the phenomenal treatment called Deep Brian Stimulation (DBS), for Parkinson’s patients, came from “monkey work”. This claim is now acknowledged by the wider scientific community – which lies outside Lemon’s vested interest – as absolutely false: DBS, for Parkinson’s sufferers, was discovered through human patient observation, NOT monkey-based research. Please visit this link to read our medical Board’s peer reviewed paper proving that Prof. Lemon’s claim about Parkinson’s is not true. Also available is the Open Letter addressing Lemon’s false claim, written for VERO by Dr. Marius Maxwell, a Board of Neurological Surgery-certified neurosurgeon, who was educated at Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard.
Prof. Lemon is a good example of the vast vested interest which has been allowed to develop since 1847, when animal models were first institutionalised by a French doctor Claude Bernard – who went on to reject The Theory of Evolution. The financial benefits of working in the animal model sector today are now proven to be entirely out of step with up-to-date medical understanding.
Prof. Lemon has spent his entire life – his entire career – being paid to experiment on monkeys, claiming that such experiments can ‘predict the responses of human patients’. This is why he continues to lie about up-to-date human medical knowledge – not very convincingly. Prof. Lemon has a great deal to loose by leading doctors, such as Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of The BMJ, who reported on the well known failure of animals a predictive models of human patients, in her Editor’s Choice, June 2014.  Prof. Lemon has a great deal to loose by pharmaceutical companies which acknowledge the failure of animal models in their drug development process, and write about this openly and often in the scientific literature. Prof Lemon has a great deal to loose by the National Cancer Institute, which believes we have lost cures for cancer because studies in rodents have been believed . But by no means least, Prof. Lemon has a great deal to loose by the 122 MPs – and climbing – who are calling for him to agree to debate the president of our medical Board, Dr Ray Greek, in a scientific hearing that will be overseen by independent judges from the relevant fields of scientific expertise.
The wider scientific community – outside the vested interests of Prof. Lemon – agree that animal models hold no predictive value for human patients, and are now proven to actually delay the arrival of effective treatments and cures. [3 – 5 ] This is a very serious situation for patients, because the majority of funding still goes towards animal models.
We understand that the president of our medical Board, Dr Ray Greek, is being invited to counter the false information spun by Prof. Lemon, and we look forward to publishing that radio interview when it is available.
In the meantime we take this opportunity to please ask your MP to sign Parliamentary Early Day Motion 400. It joins the 122 Parliamentarians – and climbing – who have signed four Early Day Motions (EDMs) to date, calling for animal modellers – such as Prof. Lemon – to agree to debate our medical Board in a properly moderated public scientific hearing. This debate will be overseen by independent judges from the relevant fields of scientific expertise, who will be present to judge which of the opposing scientific positions is valid, based on referenced position papers and the live debate itself.
Please help MPs who are calling for this historic medical science debate; simply click the image below, type in your postcode and ask your MP to sign EDM 400. Alternatively, please visit this link.
To listen to the radio interview with Prof. Lemon please click the link below:
1.BMJ 2014; 348: g 3719
2. Gura T: ‘Cancer Models: Systems for identifying new drugs are often faulty’. Science. 1997, 278 (5340): 1041-1042. 10.1126/science.278.5340.1041.
3. Shanks N, Greek R Animal Models in Light of Evolution Boca Raton: Brown Walker Press; 2009.
4. Shanks N, Greek R, Greek J: ‘Are Animal Models Predictive for Humans?’ Philos Ethics Humanit Med 2009, 4:25.
5. Lumley CE, Walker S Lancaster, Quay, editors, 1990, ‘Clinical Toxicity – Could it have been predicted? Post-marketing experience’, 57–67; Heywood R. Animal Toxicity Studies: Their Relevance for Man.