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Speciesism

June 04, 2020 - euronews

Crab blood used to make COVID-19 vaccine outrages animal rights activists

Crab blood used to make COVID-19 vaccine outrages animal rights activists
Horseshoe CrabFile Photo / © Photabulous!

Horseshoe crab blood continues to be a cornerstone of biomedical research, to the chagrin of animal rights activists. Campaigners were hoping to see a permanent change to a synthetic alternative, but a key player in the US pharmaceutical industry has renewed its backing for horseshoe crab blood.

US Pharmacopeia, in Maryland, US, has a significant influence on the drug industry worldwide and had looked to be moving towards supporting a synthetic alternative. It withdrew from those plans this week.

Horseshoe crab blood is a long-standing feature of vaccination research. The creatures’ blue blood is able to detect endotoxins, a substance released by bacteria when they die. These molecules can kill humans if they enter our bloodstreams. It’s therefore important that anything which is likely to enter our blood, like vaccinations, must be tested for these harmful endotoxins.

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