I read your Oct. 29 article ``Beleaguered supplier denies Animal Cruelty.' As a result, I call into question a statement by Dr. Leslie Sims - ``Without tests on animals there would be no polio vaccine, no organ transplants and no penicillin.' This is not true. Take penicillin. Alexander Fleming accidently discovered penicillin in 1928 when he observed bacteria would not grow on a culture medium contaminated by a mold penicillium notatum. No animals were involved. For many years before Fleming made his discovery families kept penicillin mold on damp cheeses to make a plaster for infected wounds.
Current medical people would argue that in spite of the fact penicillin was used successfully it was still imperative to re-test it on animals for purposes of fine tuning. However, this makes no sense because there is no direct correlation between animal toxicity levels and human toxicity levels. We might then ask how it is possible for the medical profession, upon whom we heartily rely, to make no sense?History assists. For 17 centuries, from the 2nd century until the 19th, most Western surgeons did not believe in the existence of germs, thereby causing untold agony down the centuries. The early Romans believed in germs and so did the Indians of the 4th millennium B.C.; and they acted accordingly.
If arrogance, ignorance or folly can blind medical practitioners for 17 centuries on one topic, why cannot they be similarly blinded on another? Anne Orr Greensboro