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The Physicians Committee



PCRM Members to Educate March of Dimes Walkers

healthy babyThe March of Dimes holds its fundraising walks each spring. Between March and June, several hundred WalkAmerica charity walks take place across the country supporting the March of Dimes. However, most walkers don’t know that the March of Dimes conducts cruel animal experiments and has no plan to stop.

In one such experiment, kittens’ eyes were sewn shut for months, after which they were killed in an effort to show how blindness affects visual development. The results had no relevance to human neurological function. Other experiments have included injecting rats with cocaine and severely dehydrating pregnant sheep to monitor the developmental impact on the fetus.

Hundreds of PCRM volunteers will hand out leaflets at the walks that explain what kind of research the March of Dimes funds and provide information about humane birth defects charities. Last year, PCRM volunteers attended over 150 walks and handed out more than 50,000 fliers. Because charity walks are one of the March of Dimes’ main sources of income, educating people that participate in those events about how their money is being spent is very important.

“These experiments are a cruel waste of donations that should be going to help babies,” said Andrew Page, PCRM’s campaign coordinator. “Most people simply do not know that their money is funding animal experiments.”

The best way charities can help prevent human birth defects is through clinical trials and epidemiological studies. Virtually all recognized developmental hazards were identified by studying human populations. In one of the most significant recent findings, it was human observation that led to the discovery of a link between folic acid and neural tube defects. A quick look at the March of Dimes’ published list of “milestones” will show that most were projects or events completely unrelated to animal experimentation.



 

 PCRM Online, February 2006

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