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Group Cites Conflicts of Interest and Potential Violation of Federal Law
For Immediate Release:May 11, 2011
Contact:Robbyn Brooks 202-483-7382
Washington — Earlier today,
PETA submitted official comments to the National Academy of Science's Institute
of Medicine (IOM) protesting extreme bias and conflicts of interest in the
IOM-convened committee to evaluate whether the U.S. should continue to be the
only nation in the industrialized world that continues to allow invasive
experiments on chimpanzees. PETA is calling for the current committee to be
disbanded and charging that IOM failed to follow the National Academy's own
policies pertaining to committee composition and conflicts of interest. The
group also asserts that IOM may have violated the Federal Advisory Committee
Act, resulting in a committee dominated by entities, including pharmaceutical
companies, that have lobbied against legislation to end chimpanzee
experimentation and that have a financial interest in seeing the practice
continue. Conversely, IOM has stated that nominees representing animal advocacy
organizations were immediately discounted, even if they possessed scientific
expertise on the matter.
The IOM study was commissioned
by the U.S. government after a public outcry halted a misguided plan by the
National Institutes of Health to subject 202 retired chimpanzees to invasive
and painful infectious disease experiments. IOM has stated that NIH has not
asked it to have the panel examine the
ethics of experimentation on chimpanzees, even though ethical considerations
were the driving force behind the committee's formation and the public's
"It is appalling that
the committee convened to determine whether our tax dollars will continue to
fund unethical and cruel experiments on chimpanzees is stacked with people who
have political and financial interests in seeing it continue," says PETA
Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo. "The IOM needs
to form an unbiased panel—and it needs to address the ethical concerns
that prompted the committee's formation in the first place."
More than 1,000
chimpanzees—humans' closest living genetic relatives—are imprisoned in barren cells
in U.S. laboratories and intentionally infected with diseases such as HIV and
hepatitis, even though most scientists agree that chimpanzees are poor models
for researching human diseases. Although the IOM believes that a study is
necessary to evaluate this practice, many people already recognize that it is
cruel and archaic. The Great Ape Protection
and Cost Savings Act—new bipartisan legislation to ban invasive experiments on
chimpanzees—currently has 50 sponsors in Congress.
For more information, visit PETA.org.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.