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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Articles and Reports

The Animal Experimentation Scandal:
An Audit of the National Institutes of Health Funding of Animal Experimentation Listing the top Laboratories in Order of NIH Funding Received During 2002
By: Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director,
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
513-575-5517  saen@saenonline.org

Audit Findings: Research Duplication

The finding of a significant increase in the number of grants funded by the National Institutes of Health leads to several questions. Perhaps the most important of these questions deals with the issue of duplication. Are all of these research projects necessary? Are they unique and innovative? Are any of these grants redundant? Are those researchers who are being trusted by the NIH to perform medical research defrauding the American taxpayer?

While it is not within the scope of this audit to fully answer questions of this nature, certain conclusions can be drawn from a relatively limited number of additional searches that have been run using the CRISP system.

In order to deal with this potential for duplication within the NIH grant system some basic searches were performed via the CRISP system. Three species were used: rats, mice and macaque monkeys (chosen to illustrate both ends of the evolutionary scale). The results of these searches were very disturbing. There are currently (for fiscal 2002) 187 separate projects (costing a potential $56,100,000 per year) that examine neural information processing in macaque monkeys. Since neural information processing could still be a potentially large area, the topic was refined further.

Visual neural information processing in macaque monkeys brought up 130 separate projects within the CRISP system (costing $39,000,000 annually). 284 projects study cocaine in rats ($85,200,000), 110 projects study cocaine in mice ($33,000,000), and 51 projects study cocaine in macaque monkeys ($15,300,000). This is a total of 445 projects studying cocaine in three different species. This gives us an estimated total of $133,500,000 annually spent on 445 cocaine addiction research experiments in only three species of animals. Using these same three species as a basis we can find 85 studies examining heroin ($25,500,000), 51 that examine marijuana ($15,300,000) and 44 that study phencyclidine ($13,200,000). Studies in heroin, marijuana, and phencyclidine (PCP) in these species use a total of $54,000,000 per year. One must wonder if the best way to deal with the substance abuse problem facing the U.S. is to continue to manufacture drug-addicted rats, mice, and primates.

Alcoholism is another problem that plagues our society. The National Institutes of Health has responded to this problem by funding 657 concurrent animal studies which examine alcohol in rats, mice, and macaque monkeys. This leads to an estimated annual expenditure of $197,100,000 for animal studies involving alcohol. How many humans could be helped with the combined $384,600,000 that is currently being spent on animal studies in alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, PCP, and heroin?

It must also be noted that some of these grants have been in existence for decades. Specifically, several of the grants in the area of neural information processing in macaque monkeys have been in existence for over 30 years, with one reaching 39 years of age. This type of information spawns several further questions. If this area has been studied by dozens of researchers for decades, why are new grants which often utilize essentially the same methodology continually appearing in this field? If decades of study have not garnered worthwhile information, why are more grants being approved? If the decades-old grants are not sufficient to examine the field, necessitating new grants, why do the old grants continue to be renewed? Why is all of this research happening? To answer this question, the funding of animal experimentation within specific facilities will be examined.

Go on to Audit Findings: Specific Facilities

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