Eli Lilly Plans Withdrawal of Insulin in Canada; Diabetics Not Happy

Animal-based insulin is becoming increasingly difficult to find in the West, and Eli Lilly recently announced plans to stop selling animal-insulin in Canada. That decision has brought on the anger of a number of diabetes charities who accuse the drug company of putting people ahead of profits in withdrawing the animal-insulin.

Until the early 1980s, all insulin was either beef or pork-based. But in the early 1980s, synthetic insulin began to get approval in Western countries and has gradually displaced animal-based insulin. Synthetic insulin has a number of advantages, including that it is cheaper to produce, has fewer impurities, and its is more-or-less identical to human insulin.

But some users of animal-based insulin claim that the synthetic insulin causes any number of side effects, and that it gives them better awareness of impending low blood sugar.

Comparative studies between the two, however, have tended to show that synthetic insulin is just as safe and effect as animal-based insulin, and avoids the potential of an immune response that is a risk with animal-based insulin.


Diabetics fear loss of animal insulin. Don Harrison, The Province, July 22, 2005.

Three SHAC Activists and Limousine Driver Acquitted of Harassment

Three Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty activists and a fired limousine driver were acquitted in August of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and pursuing conduct causing fear of violence

Mark Moore, 41, stood accused of giving the names, addresses and phone numbers of Eli Lilly employees to SHAC activists Richard England, 26, Lyndsey Wallace, 29, and Madeline Buckler, 21. England, Wallace and Buckler were accused of using the information to carry out a campaign of harassment against the Eli Lilly employees in 2001

But midway through their trial, Judge Keith Cutler ordered the four acquitted after determining that the government had no solid evidence that the three SHAC activists were behind the harassment. Moore admitted giving the activists the personal information, but Cutler also ordered him acquitted saying the government had not proven that the information was actually acted upon and that, regardless, Moore’s actions did not constitute a violation of the Data Protection Act.

Moore decided to take revenge on Eli Lilly after he was terminated and provided the names and other personal information to SHAC. England, Wallace and Buckler supposedly were responsible for production of a SHAC newsletter which disclosed this information and urged a campaign against the Eli Lilly employees.

But Judge Cutler found that the only evidence against the three SHAC activists was that they had worked with SHAC in varying capacities with no specific evidence suggesting any conspiracy in the particular case of the Eli Lilly employees.


Animal rights campaigners cleared. The BBC, September 8, 2003.

Animal rights activists acquitted of ‘hate campaign’. Ananova, September 8, 2003.

Animal activists ‘threatened workers’. Martin Halfpenny, Press Association, August 27, 2003.

Chauffeur’s ‘revenge’ on animal tests firm. Richard Holliday, Evening Standard, August 27, 2003.