Ask NASA to Stop Cruel Radiation Experiments on Monkeys
- Ask NASA to Stop Cruel Radiation Experiments on Monkeys
SEE TWO ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE BELOW: Please use some of the issue language in your letters or calls.
ISSUE: NASA has not used monkeys for radiobiology research in decades. In 1990, government researchers ended decades of radiation experiments on monkeys after concluding that monkey data did not translate to humans. Many researchers today use high-tech, human-centered methods of studying space radiation exposure, including human phantoms equipped with sensors and data from manned spaceflight.
Authors of a summary report for a quarter-century of U.S. Air Force radiation research observed that radiation exposure experiments in rhesus macaques are not predictive for effects in humans. They concluded that "the injudicious extrapolation of animal data to provide predictions of effects in humans is probably more hazardous to the future benefits of nuclear medicine than the hazards from the radiations themselves."
Furthermore, the method of using these tiny squirrel monkeys to measure the effect of galactic cosmic rays would have on the human central nervous system is questionable science. The scientific community is quickly reaching a consensus that monkeys make poor models for human studies, particularly a study such as Bergman's in which cognitive ability is being evaluated. Furthermore, the radiation involved in this study is not a true representation of the kind of radiation that would be experienced in deep space.
Finally, there is great debate in the space community as to whether a manned mission to Mars is a reasonable goal for the near future. A recent NASA commission acknowledged that Mars is not the "best first option" and that, under NASA's current budget, it is not feasible. Since there is currently no realistic timetable for deep space travel, there is simply NO ETHICAL [OR SCIENTIFIC] JUSTIFICATION for putting these monkeys through these inhumane and possibly fatal experiments.
Jack Bergman of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA has gotten a grant to blast squirrel monkeys, constrained in metal chairs and housed in individual cages, with repeated high doses of radiation over several years. Bergman will then observe their responses to life in a cage to measure their intellectual and physical response to imposed tasks.
ACTION 1: Funding has not yet been dispersed so you can still contact your U.S. Representative and ask her/him to sign onto the Jim Moran letter to NASA protesting this cruel waste of taxpayer money Find contact info for your one U.S. representative at: www.house.gov
ACTION 2: You can also send an automated letter to NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr., asking him to put a stop to these cruel experiments (Please use some of the issue language above to personalize your automated letter) at: https://secure2.convio.net/pcrm/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=291&autologin=true&JServSessionIdr003=yctkscpkb2.app14a
Administrator Bolden is in a position to stop these inhumane and pointless experiments, but he needs to hear from you. Please call or e-mail his office today.
PLEASE HELP THESE POOR MONKEYS TODAY AND FORWARD WIDELY.