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The Physicians Committee



Reform the March of Dimes

Sample Letter to March of Dimes' Corporate Sponsors

March of Dimes-Funded Animal Experiments

Please send us any responses you receive.

Dear {name of contact person}:

I am writing today to share some important information you might not be aware of—that your partnership with the March of Dimes inadvertently supports the charity’s ineffective and cruel animal experiments. While I would like to commend {name of company}’s commitment to philanthropy, there are many ways you can improve human health without harming animals. This year, I encourage you to support and partner with only health charities that have received the Humane Charity Seal of Approval, a seal the March of Dimes has not received.

Although the March of Dimes carries out useful education and service programs, it continues to fund troubling animal experiments that have failed to lead to prevention or treatment methods for birth defects, hindering the development of real advances. The March of Dimes spends as much as $30 million per year on disturbing animal experiments, such as experiments giving alcohol and cocaine to pregnant animals, brain damaging and freezing newborn ferrets, seriously dehydrating pregnant ewes, tethering pregnant monkeys to cages and inserting monitoring cables into their fetuses, sewing closed the eyes of kittens, and inducing the premature birth of lambs followed by deliberate infliction of lung injury. The money for experiments like these would be better spent on prenatal care and education, as well as human-relevant research.  

The most significant advances in birth defect research have come from human-based studies. For example, fetal alcohol syndrome, fetal rubella syndrome, the effects of lead and methyl mercury on fetal development, the role of folic acid in protection against neural tube defects, the thalidomide disaster, and the role of magnesium sulfate in preventing cerebral palsy and mental retardation were all found without the use of animals. Most recently, autopsy studies of babies who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) revealed key differences in the brains of babies who died of SIDS and those who did not—a monumental step forward after years of unsuccessfully using animals to study this human disease.

Thankfully, many health charities do not fund animal experiments. At www.HumaneSeal.org, you can find the list of health charities that have received the Humane Charity Seal of Approval, certifying that they do not fund any animal experiments—just the best human-focused research and patient services.

Instead of partnering with the March of Dimes, I urge you to collaborate only with charities that have been awarded the Humane Seal. You might also consider contacting the March of Dimes with your concerns about its continued funding of animal experiments.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

{insert your name here}



 

Why Animal Experiments Often Fail in Birth Defects Research

Birth Defect Statistics

March of Dimes-Funded Animal Experiments: An Overview

March of Dimes Animal Experiments: Common Questions

Birth Defect Statistics

Reform the March of Dimes Home

 
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