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

Media Coverage

Animal-rights group requests federal investigation of MPI

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
BY ALEX NIXON
anixon@kalamazoogazette.com 

MATTAWAN -- An animal-rights group has asked the federal government to investigate the way Mattawan drug-testing company MPI Research treats the animals it uses.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now, or SAEN, said at a news conference Monday morning that it was contacted a month ago by an employee of MPI Research regarding allegations that MPI's treatment of animals used in drug testing violates the federal Animal Welfare Act.

``Some of the violations revealed by the whistleblower include inadequate veterinary care and inadequate observation of the animals,'' Michael Budkie, executive director of Milford, Ohio-based SAEN, said in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's animal-care division.

Budkie refused to disclose the identity of the MPI employee because, he said, that person fears reprisals. He also would not say if the person was a current or former employee.

MPI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William Parfet said the 1,500-employee company is ``vigorously'' inspected by both the USDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

``We take it seriously,'' Parfet said of the allegations. ``But we don't believe that there's been any wrongdoing.''

Parfet said MPI would cooperate fully with any inspection or investigation by regulators, but he said he didn't know if or when that would happen.

USDA spokesman Jim Rogers said the agency follows up all complaints. As of Monday afternoon, he said, the animal-care division had received SAEN's complaint but hadn't contacted MPI about it.

MPI is a 12-year-old company that conducts early-stage drug-development trials for pharmaceutical companies. Rogers said it is inspected once a year by the USDA and was investigated once in 2005. No violations were found in connection with that inquiry, he said.

See Facility Reports and Information: M P I Research, L.L.C., Mattawan, MI

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