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"Exposing the truth to wipe
out animal experimentation"
|NIH Audit Reveals
Massive Waste Of Research Money At Oregon Lab
by Coalition to Abolish Animal Testing 7:29pm Fri
Apr 26 '02 (Modified on 8:46pm Fri Apr 26 '02)
NEWS CONFERENCE Friday / April 26,
Elaine Close 503-972-CAAT / Michael Budkie 513-575-5517
HILLSBORO - April 26th, 2002. Today, Elaine
Close, of the Coalition to Abolish Animal Testing (CAAT), held a
news briefing in front of the Oregon Regional Primate Center to
release an independent audit of the National Institutes of Health,
authored by Michael Budkie, a national research analyst with
Cincinnati-based SAEN. The Oregon Regional Primate Center is among
dozens of research laboratories named in an independent audit of the
National Institutes of Health that suggests there is a massive
"waste" of tax money - including nearly $110 million at the ORPC
alone - on useless, redundant studies.
The audit estimates the cost to taxpayers for the wasteful spending
could be as much as $1 million an hour. The report details examples
where the identical research - all funded by the NIH - is duplicated
needlessly in scores of labs.
Mr. Budkie notes that the number of experiments on animals that are
duplicated excessively is increasing. As of 2001, NIH-funded
research on animals included about 30,000 separate projects at a
cost of $8.5 billion. That's an increase, Mr. Budkie said, of more
than 18 percent since 1997 and 37.3 percent since 1991.
One example in the audit cites 450 NIH grants studying cocaine use
in rats, mice or macaque monkeys at a $130 million annual cost to
taxpayers. Another study of neural information processing costs
millions a year but is duplicated in nearly 200 identical projects.
If asked, the NIH would surely point out small differences between
each study and assert that the data collected is unique, thus
valuable. But, Close points out that research should be judged by
the benefits these animal studies provide. She asks, "How has all
this helped sick people?" "Is this a good use of billions of dollars
when millions of people in this country don't have healthcare?"
One study Ms. Close cites involves studying the cardiac effects of
cocaine in mice with the animal equivalent of AIDS. In order for
results to be predictive, Close says human and rodent cardiac
systems would need to be the same. They're not. An essential
component of discovering a remedy for a medical problem is charting
its path of "infection." Mice don't get AIDS. Mice don't use coke.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says there are
over 700,000 pregnant women who abuse illegal substances. Yet the
Oregon Primate Center is addicting pregnant monkeys to cocaine to
study the effects on the fetuses. Impregnating monkeys. Addicting
them to coke. Killing the babies. This is science? When there are
hundreds of thousands of human children who could be studied and
given much-needed medical attention in the process?
"A radical restructuring of the NIH grant approval system, and the
Animal Care & Use Committee system are necessary prevent further
waste of federal tax dollars," said Mr. Budkie, who called for
Congress to commission a General Accounting Office audit of the NIH
grant system, and correlate research contract data to examine the
issue of duplication within the NIH.
Copies of the NIH audit, entitled "The Animal Experimentation
Scandal," is available upon request and at
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