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Tax Dollars Thrown Away on Pointless Animal Experiments

Posted by at 3:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (12)


Tax Dollars Thrown Away on Pointless Animal Experiments by Guest Blogger

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A report issued last month by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., blasts 100 “questionable,” “mismanaged,” and “poorly planned” stimulus-funded projects, including an especially pointless and cruel experiment that the report aptly calls “Monkeys Getting High for Science.” The study in question is being conducted at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, a Winston Salem, North Carolina-based facility that was awarded $71,623 in stimulus funds to feed cocaine to monkeys.

“I think all of [the projects] are waste,” McCain told ABC News. “[S]ome are more egregious than others but all of them are terrible.”

Hooking monkeys on coke definitely falls into the “more egregious” category. Unfortunately, this study is just a drop in the proverbial crack pipe. Wasteful and cruel addiction studies on animals are currently being conducted all over the country-and most are simply slight variations on experiments that have been conducted for years. Often the “results” have been known for years as well.

For example, it has already been well established that smoking harms developing human fetuses. But that hasn’t stopped the federal government from funneling more than $10 million to Eliot Spindel of the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Spindel impregnates monkeys and then continuously injects them with nicotine to cause damage to their unborn babies’ lungs. The preterm babies are then cut from their mothers’ bodies and killed so that their organs can be cut out and dissected.

Other experiments on animals could easily be conducted on willing human volunteers.

At Yale University, experimenter Marina Picciotto has squandered nearly $10 million in taxpayer money from the National Institutes of Health for nicotine, amphetamine, and cocaine addiction experiments on monkeys, mice, and rats. The stated goal of one such experiment was to determine how long one should wait after ingesting nicotine before brain imaging is done.

But rather than using actual human smokers who were enrolled in a clinical study, Picciotto isolated monkeys in cages and fed them nicotine-laced Kool-Aid for eight weeks. One monkey received a dose of nicotine each day that was equal to the amount of nicotine found in 17 packs of cigarettes (far more than even chain-smoking humans consume), and the monkeys had to suffer through the distress and discomfort of nicotine withdrawal.

Some addiction experiments appear to be almost tragically pointless. At Harvard Medical School’s McLean Hospital, Jack Bergman has conducted federally funded experiments on squirrel monkeys in which they were isolated in steel cages, addicted to methamphetamines and cocaine, strapped in restraint chairs, and given electric shocks.

Bergman now wants to spend another $1.75 million of public money from NASA to blast squirrel monkeys with radiation and then cage them for the rest of their lives to see how it damages their brains and bodies-even though four decades of government-funded radiation experiments on primates have not produced any results that are relevant to humans. A NASA space station engineer who resigned in protest over the experiment says she believes that the agency’s resources would be better spent devising ways to prevent radiation from entering spaceships rather than trying to figure out what to do after it does.

While it is always unethical to confine, poison, mutilate, and kill animals for experimentation, it is especially egregious that experimenters are trying to use animals to model addiction, which is in large part caused by social, psychological, and even economic factors. Studies on animals can’t resolve these issues.

Furthermore, vast fundamental biological differences between humans and other animals make the results of such experiments difficult if not impossible to extrapolate to humans. Data from mice, rats, and monkeys who are trapped in a laboratory and forced into an unnatural and involuntary addiction are of no relevance to humans suffering from drug addictions. Federal tax dollars would be much better spent funding cash-strapped addiction treatment centers and studying drug addictions in humans in a clinical setting rather than torturing animals.

Want to do more for animals in laboratories? Please visit our special Causes page and take PETA’s “Stop Animal Testing” Challenge.

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12 Comments

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    Vicky Slay says...

    September 24th, 2010, 4:05 pm

    A lot of money is being spent for useless experiments upon innocent animals. I cannot understand the justification of such cruel experiments.
    I always had high praise of Nasa, but now I put them in the same category as China for the way they treat their dogs and cats in the food and fur industries. They too get great pleasure torturing these innocent animals.
    There are many people who would volunteer for such experiments just for the amount of intake of the drugs. You could even look at their brains before and after such experiments. I cannot understand why such experiments have to be made in the first place. It should be stopped.

    Amy says...

    September 24th, 2010, 4:57 pm

    Personally if i had the choice i would STOP paying taxes. I would not want to support something like this.

    Clifford Hritz says...

    September 24th, 2010, 6:48 pm

    I want the choice to not have my tax dollars go towards torture

    Ruth says...

    September 24th, 2010, 7:42 pm

    How can you do such a HORRIBLE thing to an Innocent animal, when they look to US for care.

    How cruel is the So-Called human race that not only will they cause Horrible pain and death to another species, but also to their own species.

    I am sure that you Professors and Students have the understanding that the Animal DNA is not the same as Human DNA.

    I believe you know that?

    Ruth says...

    September 25th, 2010, 12:59 pm

    Be careful what you do to GOD’S creation for he is always watching.
    And if you want him to remember you care for his animals.

    And if you believe in god or you do not you have to believe, simple, you eat, drink, sleep, breath these are his rules and we all have to live by them.

    REMEMBER SOONER OR LATER WE ALL WILL DIE, SO WHAT WE DO, WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED BY HOW WE ACT IN GOD’S WORLD.

    Terry Vac says...

    October 1st, 2010, 3:28 pm

    With all the things they can spend tax payers money on I can’t even image they spend it on things like this. What is wrong with these people.
    I think it’s time to get new people in these jobs. Sounds like someone’s get paid off to distribute this money. Did deep and see why? This is common sense put our money to good use not crap like this. Leave the animals alone start helping people.

    Jill says...

    October 1st, 2010, 9:51 pm

    I am disgusted that this experimentation is still taking place.
    I like many others thought Vivisection had been outlawed years ago. How can this still be happening??
    The animals get no say in what mankind does to them, they trust us and look to us for love and affection, not cruel experiments and torture.
    It sickens me to the stomach to think animals are still suffering at the hands of humans.

    Astrid Murrison says...

    October 2nd, 2010, 6:38 am

    An Indian Legend Says:
    “When a human dies there is a bridge they must cross to enter into Heaven.
    At the head of the bridge waits every animal that human encountered during their lifetime.
    The animals, based on what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge…and which are turned away.”

    Cree Indian Prophecy!!!
    Only After the Last Tree Has Been Cut Down,
    Only After the Last River Has Been Poisoned,
    Only After the Last Fish Has Been Caught,
    Only After the Greedy Human Has Destroy the Earths Beauty
    Only Then They Will Find That MONEY Cannot Be EATEN
    Remember That God Created the Earth and the entire Living Thing and We know that One Day We All Have to face or Creator!!!!!

    A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood.
    Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, ‘Now, class,
    if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it,
    and I would turn red in the face.’

    ‘Yes,’ the class said.

    ‘Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn’t run into my feet?’

    A little fellow shouted,
    ‘Cause your feet ain’t empty.’

    This is what your are CRUEL SILFISH GOOD FOR NOTHING BASTERDS ON BRAIN ON PAIN

    Ann says...

    October 2nd, 2010, 10:11 pm

    This is so sad. It makes me sick to think that my taxes are going to subsidize these horrors. Whoever in government who authorizes this should have this publicized all over the media, and they should be impeached, and if that is not possible every civilized, humane person in this country should vote them out.
    I am ashamed that my government sponsores this sick, inhumane conduct.
    And I feel so sick for what those animals have had to undergo by humans who can only be described as satanic. I think these researchers should be put in their own labs and forced to undergo what their animals did – including NASA.

    Romy says...

    October 12th, 2010, 1:53 pm

    Blessings for all including the assassins and tehabusers; It is tough to live in a world without LOVE, does not mean some dont LOVE it means when one betrays a child or creature of the architect of the Universe I suffer and the consequences affects of us all. If when in dought buy an C.D. from a deceased artist? Mercy may God have mercy for anyone whom can look ino the eyes of an innocent animals and kiil, abuse, use, or neglet them. My heart must be made of cotton but I adore all Gods creation, yes including the dark, ignorants and uneducated monsters who dont know any better!!!!

    Judith Basye says...

    January 30th, 2011, 7:47 pm

    Monkeys have been smoking,drinking alcohol,and doing drugs for 30 plus years at the expense of the American taxpayer.The results of all this has been the same for 30 plus years.It’s bad for us!

    Judith says...

    January 30th, 2011, 7:53 pm

    Senators John McCain and Tom Coburn are two good sources to receive your e-mail regarding the wasteful spending of our tax dollars on the sheer stupidity of some laboratory experiments.They may be able to contribute to the halt of funding repeated experiments.

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