Written by Bruce W. Kennedy from various sources.
Mike Garrison worked for 27 years at Intervet in Millsboro, Delaware, as facility manager and then seven years at Liberty Research in Waverly, New York, as general manager. It can be said that he spent his career devoted to laboratory animal research. Unfortunately, like for many of us, one of the diseases we study – cancer – is what took him away. Thanks to science and his own perseverance though, he wasn’t ready to give up when it was discovered, determined to have more time with family and make several trips across the United States for another five years.
Mike was my colleague through NCAB (at the time Delaware was included in District 3). I met him through the laboratory animal technician certification program when regional examiners (REBs) visited facilities to administer paper-and-pencil examinations. He invited me out. I was REB for AALAS District 3 in the ‘80s, so why not? It was a trip I probably would not have taken otherwise. ADVENTURE!! I drove at least twice to Delaware to proctor and test his staff at Intervet and enjoy his and his wife’s hospitality. Many recall that he was very devoted to his staff, encouraging them to properly prepare.
Ann Dinkel of Delaware Valley Branch, where Mike was also a member, remembers him from when she taught at Del Tech. She noted that he was really involved, serving on the IACUC as both member and chair. The Intervet facility was an annual field trip for her students. She was grateful that he even hired a few as interns.
Michael Joseph Garrison, 70, of Dagsboro, Delaware, finished his earthly journey Thursday, April 8, 2021, and went home to be with his Lord. He was born in Cheverly, Maryland, and attended school in nearby Riverdale and Washington, DC. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in Germany before volunteering for service in Vietnam. Injured, he returned home and was honorably discharged from Walter Reed Hospital.
Mike married Juanita Kathryn in 1970; together they had a ‘brood’ of five children and 10 grandchildren. He received his AAS from Prince George's (Maryland) Community College and BS from the University of California, Davis, (my alma mater as well) in Agricultural Education. He was a long-time member of both the NCAB and the national AALAS, earning his LATG in 1989.
Services were arranged at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Bethany Beach, DL and the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Dagsboro, DL. Ann Dinkel, Eileen Morgan, and I attended and represented the lab animal community.
Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) reintroduced the Humane Research and Testing Act (H.R. 1744) to "amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the establishment of the National Center for Alternatives to Animals in Research and Testing, and for other purposes." NABR is strongly encouraging members to use our take action tool to oppose this bill!
H.R. 1744 is identical to the Humane Research and Testing Act of 2020 (H.R. 8633), which NABR opposed, filed at the end of last Congress. This bill is being supported by the Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research and Experimentation (CAARE), an animal rights organization that claims to be dedicated to educating "the public, media, legislators and scientists about strategies to reduce and replace animal research." CAARE has various campaigns targeting Quincy Bioscience, National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), among others.
Representatives Hastings and Buchanan have both been animal rights advocates for many years. According to Humane Society Legislative Fund's (HSLF) scorecard, Reps. Hastings boasts a 100+ rating and Rep. Buchanan a 100 rating. "I don't agree [animal research is necessary]. And I think most people would side with me," Buchanan said during a Sunday Morning News broadcast on April 2, 2017.
Although the H.R. 1744 bill text is not yet available on Congress.gov, the Humane Research and Testing Act of 2020 bill text is available. This bill would create a new National Center for Alternatives to Animals in Research under the NIH, despite the fact that National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) already exists. The bills would also mandate more reporting to Congress on the types and numbers of animals involved in research. Most shocking is the following statement in the bill:
"There is widespread agreement among scientists and regulatory agencies that animal models are poor predictors of the human response, with over 90 percent of new candidate drugs never making it to market.
More than 30 percent of promising medications have failed in human clinical trials because they are found to be toxic despite promising pre-clinical studies in animal models. An additional 65 percent of candidate drugs that pass animal trials fail due to lack of efficacy."
This premise shows a fundamental lack of understanding in the scientific process by the congressional offices sponsoring these bills. Yet CAARE states these bills have the endorsement of the Jane Goodall Institute, Cruelty Free International, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, and Dr. Donald Ingber MD, Ph.D. More recently, Vanda Pharmaceuticals lost a legal dispute with FDA over what Vanda reported as "unnecessary animal research" in regard to FDA's request to show canine safety data for the drug tradipitant.
The American biomedical research community supports valid and effective animal alternatives. However, these bills appear to create a ready-made animal rights targeting lists through further mandatory reporting and are aimed at eliminating animal models rather than helping the research community validate truly effective alternatives.
NABR is encouraging members to reach out to their U.S. representatives to oppose this bill. Use our quick take-action link here: https://www.nabr.org/take-action/oppose-humane-research-and-testing-act-2021
The 2020 AALAS National Meeting is going totally virtual! The onsite meeting in Charlotte has been canceled.
Registration is now FREE to AALAS National members for the meeting. Nonmembers will have a $100 registration fee.
Register for the National Meeting
This is a unique opportunity for the entire AALAS community to experience the National Meeting. Be sure to register and encourage other members to do so.
On the virtual platform, educational sessions will be pre-recorded and offered on-demand from the start of the meeting in October through the end of the year.
The AALAS National Meeting Preliminary Program is now online. Please note that the virtual program is being finalized and content in the Preliminary Program is subject to change.
On behalf of Americans for Medical Progress:
Do you know a 10th or 11th grader who is fascinated by life science, interested in explaining it to others and loves to write? If so, we have the perfect summer program for them.
Curious SCIENCE Writers (cSw), is an innovative steAm initiative that trains high school communicators how to translate science for public audiences through the team efforts of student writers, editors, artists and social media coordinators. The program features a week-long writing boot camp in the DC/MD area followed by a month of story development under the remote guidance of a professional science communications mentor. At the conclusion of the program, each writer will have produced a fully researched, clear and compelling biomedical science story for a general audience. Final story editing and publishing will take place throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.
This two-minute video offers some insights from past graduates of the program. You can view the results of the cSw program on our blog and on Facebook. There is also program flyer containing additional information.
We’re also looking for professional communicators to serve as mentors or guest speakers and scientists who are willing to be interviewed about their work
For more information or to apply, visit https://curioussciencewriters.org. For questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This program is hosted by Americans for Medical Progress.
The AALAS Foundation and AMP are seeking NCAB Members to help staff their booths at the three day US Science & Engineering Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.
Volunteers must attend a training teleconference. Teleconferences will be held Tuesday, April 7th at 11:00 am EST and Wednesday, April 15th (time TBD). Details will be emailed out volunteers, and volunteers only need to attend one training session.
Sign Up to Volunteer Now!
On behalf of NABR and the NCAB AALAS Government Relations Committee
Biomedical Research Community: Click Here to Take Action Now!
As previously reported by NABR, the Virginia State Senate will be voting on a bill banning the breeding of research dogs and cats this coming Tuesday. The Virginia Senate Agriculture Committee needs to hear from you now. Even non-Virginia residents can use these take-action buttons to communicate with the committee.
We can expect the targeting of breeding at the state and local level to continue throughout 2020. While so far, the target of such language has been limited to dogs and cats, “companion species”, once on the books, such language could be easily amended to include additional species or prohibit the research from being performed altogether.
Whether or not your facility uses dogs or cats bred in Virginia, or dogs and cats at all, everyone working with animals in research should be concerned by this trend. Efforts to ban the breeding of research animals should not be tolerated because it affects the entire research community. If this legislation passes, it will undoubtedly serve as a template for efforts in other states and could dramatically impact public health, as well as the health of our pets and other animals. NABR encourages members to stay in close contact with their government affairs team.
A hearing on these bills is occurring Tuesday in the Virginia Senate Agriculture Committee. Please send the committee a respectful, but firm message today using the red take-action buttons. We hope you find
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Read the NCAB AALAS Winter 2019 Newsletter.
The Power of Risk Assessment:Laboratory Safety and Security for Clinical, Public Health, Research and Animal Care
February 29 - March 4, 2020Westin Perimeter North Hotel - Atlanta, GA
Learn More | Download Brochure
Register for the Symposium
Presented By: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with the Eagleson Institute and the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA International).
Cosponsored By: American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ASLAP), the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).
References to any persons, organizations, activities, products, services, websites, etc., do not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation, or favor of NCAB/AALAS or Council members acting on its behalf.