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Letters to the Editor: Letters to the Editor: Spondyloarthritis research, animal testing on readers’ minds this week

Please share with your audience the importance of spondyloarthritis research.

As someone who has been impacted by spondyloarthritis, I know firsthand that our country needs to accelerate progress and improve lives by directing increased funding for NIH or NIH NIAMS spondyloarthritis research.

Some 2.7 million people in the USA have a spondyloarthritis disease. They were likely born with a genetic susceptibility. Spondyloarthritis is a chronic, painful type of arthritis that starts as a child or young adult, is too often life-long, and for many of us leads to permanent damage to the spine and disfigurement. The overall economic burden associated with arthritis is $300 billion annually (2018 CDC public health research). To put this into perspective, the annual economic cost of arthritis surpasses that of tobacco-related health effects, cancer and diabetes.

I ask that people join me to make spondyloarthritis research funding one of our legislative priorities. We know early treatment helps, yet on average spondyloarthritis is misdiagnosed for seven to 10 years, closing the window for optimal outcomes. We have a couple of effective treatments — often very expensive — that are making a difference for some of us. Innovative discoveries are being made in the lab, and additional funding and focused efforts are urgently needed to quickly advance these discoveries.


I hope that I can count on the support of others to ensure that those fighting to stay active and productive have more options and hope for a brighter future.

Michael Klein




Using cruelty-free products has become popular as more and more people advocate for animal rights. However, many companies are not as transparent and truthful with their policies as they appear to be.

Many companies sell their products in China, whose government mandates animal testing for safety by law. This means that these brands still condone animal testing in order to gain a profit with their threshold of consumers in China.

Laboratories required for testing are harmful to the environment, the health of the workers, and of course, the animals. Some labs have even begun to create genetically modified animals designed specifically for research. These modified animals can pose a threat to existing populations of animals. Animal testing has been proven to be extremely detrimental in multiple fields and beauty companies still do testing under the guise of the Chinese government.

If you are an avid user of cruelty-free body care, skin care or makeup products, make sure you are fully aware of the policies of the brands you support.

Hayley Clarke


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