‘Cruel’ research suspended

| September 28, 2017

The US Food and Drug Administration has announced that it has suspended experiments on the effects of nicotine on squirrel monkeys, according to a story by Laurie McGinley for the Washington Post.

The British primatologist Jane Goodall had written to the FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb urging an end to what she called ‘cruel and unnecessary’ and ‘shameful’ research.

He responded by saying that he had put a hold on the study this month ‘after learning of concerns related to the study you referenced’. He said also that he had sent a medical team of primate experts to the FDA facility – the National Center for Toxicological Research in Arkansas – ‘to evaluate the safety and well-being of the monkeys and to understand whether there are additional precautions needed’.

Goodall was enlisted in the fight against the monkey tests by the White Coat Waste Project (WCWP), an organization ‘fighting an epidemic of government secrecy about taxpayer-funded animal experiments’.

Justin Goodman, vice president of advocacy and public policy at WCWP, told Tobacco Reporter in an email exchange earlier this year that, in December 2016, the WCWP had filed with the FDA a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for information relating to the agency’s squirrel monkey experiments.

In response, in January this year, the FDA apparently provided 64 pages of documents. However, the agency had redacted cost information and failed to produce some of the requested items, including veterinary records, adverse animal welfare event reports, and photographs and videos.

In March 2017, the WCWP filed various appeals regarding improper redactions and the missing items, and the FDA acknowledged receiving them, but by the end of July it had not responded or provided the outstanding documents and information requested.

The WCWP said that all the FDA’s redactions and document withholdings constituted violations of federal FOIA laws, and that, consequently, its legal team on August 8 had filed a lawsuit challenging the FDA’s open records failure.

McGinley wrote that both the Jane Goodall Institute and the WCWP had praised the commissioner’s suspension of the experiments.

But Goodman, in an email to Tobacco Reporter on Tuesday, said that the WCWP’s lawsuit was proceeding, as of now.


Category: Breaking News

Comments are closed.