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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 (2005 Updated Report):
An Audit of the Funding of Animal Experimentation By Seven Federal Agencies Listing the top Laboratories – in Order of Funding Received During 2003
By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director,
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!

Research Duplication

The finding of a significant increase in the number of grants funded by the agencies which are catalogued in the CRISP system 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 et al 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. 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 2003) 175 separate projects (costing a potential $70,110,425 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 even further.

Visual neural information processing in macaque monkeys brought up 127 separate projects within the CRISP system (costing $50,880,137 annually). This area is examined in 125 studies in nine other species of animals costing an estimated $50,078,875. The total for all species becomes $100,959,012.

245 projects study cocaine in rats ($98,154,595); while 108 projects study cocaine in mice ($43,268,148), and 46 projects study cocaine in macaque monkeys ($18,429,026). This is a total of 399 projects studying cocaine in three different species. This gives us an estimated total of $159,851,769 annually spent on cocaine addiction research experiments in only three species of animals. Using these same three species as a basis we can find 67 studies examining heroin ($26,842,277), 42 that examine marijuana ($16,826,502) and 34 that study phencyclidine ($13,621,454). Studies in heroin, marijuana, and phencyclidine (PCP) in these species use a total of $57,290,233 per year.

However, the big winner for funding in the area of addiction experimentation is alcohol. For these same three species these agencies fund 587 projects totaling an estimated $235,170,397. We 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 at an annual cost of $452,312,399.

Despite substantial criticism of the use of rats and mice in cancer research [i.e. -- “The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades, and it simply didn’t work in humans.”( C Ray Greek and Jean Swingle Greek, Sacred Cows and Golden Geese, The Continuum International Publishing Group, 2000 p. 139)] This is still one of the most highly duplicated areas of research which is currently funded by the federal government. Cancer studies in rats are funded 599 times while mice projects in cancer are funded 3305 times simultaneously. When the computation is done, these 3904 grants may have wasted $1,564,063,424.

When the total for neural information processing experiments in all species is added to the cost of the addiction experiments in several species and the cost of cancer research in rats and mice the total becomes $2,117,334,835. In other words, it is very possible that the seven agencies which comprise the CRISP system likely waste over $2.1 Billion dollars or more annually in duplicative experiments in only three areas of research. This translates into a 17% level of waste in the research budgets of the federal agencies in question.

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 33 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.

Statistical Highlights

  • Research Duplication Waste -- $2.1 Billion annually or 17% of the combined animal research budgets of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Office of Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH).
     
  • $452,312,399 spent annually by the federal government on 1129 grants regarding drug and alcohol addiction experiments in rats, mice and macaque monkeys.
     
  • $100,959,012 spent annually on highly duplicative visual neural information processing experiments in ten species.
     
  • $1,564,063,424 spent annually on questionable cancer experiments in rats & mice.

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