Feminist icon Gloria Steinem has charged the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with putting women’s health at risk and wasting tax dollars by funding cruel and pointless animal experiments. In a letter to Dr. Vivian Pinn, director of the NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health, Steinem urged Pinn to end the “cruelty, fraud, and waste” of NIH-funded experiments on animals that are purportedly conducted in the name of advancing women’s health.
Steinem decried the funneling of millions of dollars into cruel, meaningless animal experiments while programs that provide direct assistance to women are getting the budget ax. Blasting animal “models” as being irrelevant, Steinem described several NIH-funded experiments, including one conducted by an animal experimenter at Wayne State University who received more than $1.6 million of taxpayer money to study the effects of toxic inhalants on pregnant rats at a time when federal coffers had dried up for many women who are desperately seeking help to end their drug addictions.
“I am adding my voice to others calling for an end to these and other cruel and useless experiments—on behalf of the animals who are being pointlessly made to suffer and die, on behalf of women whose health concerns are starved for funds, and on behalf of taxpayers who are being defrauded.”
—Gloria Steinem “
I am writing to ask that you address this cruelty, fraud, and waste by drastically reducing reliance on animal models, and improving oversight of grant monies, thus also saving the energy of citizen protest for causes that allow us all to move forward together,” writes Steinem. She closes the letter by saying, “You must understand that this goes beyond even the famous Golden Fleece Award for wasted tax dollars. In this case, there is blood on the fleece.”
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