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March of Dimes Ignores Calls to End Animal Experiments

Medical Researcher cartoonUndeterred by pressure from PCRM physicians and researchers, the animal welfare community, and donors everywhere, the March of Dimes refuses to develop a plan for eliminating animal experiments.

Although the March of Dimes has raised and spent billions of dollars and killed enormous numbers of animals, birth defects are on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that most types of birth defects rose substantially from 1970 to 1991. The March of Dimes has also come under fire for showering its executives with hefty salaries. March of Dimes President Jennifer Howse received $464,459 in compensation in 2001. Vice President for Research and Grants Michael Katz received $280,859, and Executive Vice President Jane Massey received $321,052.

PCRM has long held that the March of Dimes should invest in humane research and better services, particularly since the greatest progress in the fight against birth defects has been made by relying on human-centered research, education, and health care programs:

  • Folic acid supplementation, responsible for reductions in the incidences of spina bifida and anencephaly, was proven effective after a series of population studies and randomized clinical trials.
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome is 100 percent preventable, yet there are not yet adeqate treatment programs for women who need them.
  • Children of women who smoke during pregnancy generally have lower birth weights and score lower on standardized tests—and infant deaths would decrease by as much as 10 percent if women avoided tobacco during pregnancy.
  • Human population studies showed that magnesium sulfate may prevent more than 60 percent of cerebral palsy cases and 49 percent of mental retardation cases in very low birth weight babies.

Help Clean Up the March of Dimes
The March of Dimes’ major annual fundraiser is WalkAmerica. Since its beginning, WalkAmerica has raised more than $1 billion for research programs that include shocking animal experiments. Please help educate the public about the March of Dimes by distributing PCRM flyers to WalkAmerica participants. Contact PCRM research analyst Kristie Stoick, M.P.H., at 202-686-2210, ext. 335, or if you can distribute leaflets at a fundraiser in your area. Dates and times can be found at


Spring-Summer 2004
Volume XIII
Numbers 2-3

 Good Medicine

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