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In recent issues of the Port News there have been notices of fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, the Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the American Liver Foundation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Diabetes Research Institute. These health charities and others fund research on animals which, according to the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine (5100 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 404, Washington, DC 20016.; (202) 686-2210; is expensive, obsolete and invalid; and according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (501 Front Street, Norfolk, VA 23510; (777) 622-PESA Peta - is just plain cruel!

What is true for other species is not necessarily true for us. Many substances found safe for animals were later found to be toxic for humans, with disastrous results.

Forward-thinking charities such as Easter Seals, Cancer Care and many others, fund research using cell and tissue cultures, complex computer modeling and scanning techniques, and human epidemiological studies, as well as administering to people who are already sick.

Before you give to a charity find out whether it harms or helps. Give them a call and see where your money and efforts really go.

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