|NEWS RELEASE||March 27, 2003|
Doctors’ Billboard in Atlanta: A Huge Criticism of Animal Experiments
“How Many Animals Will Be Killed with Your March of Dimes Donation?”
ATLANTA—A national, nonprofit health group is putting up a billboard in Atlanta criticizing the March of Dimes for continuing to fund unnecessary animal experiments. The billboard will go up April 1 and will target participants in the March of Dimes fundraiser, WalkAmerica, which takes place in Atlanta on April 26. Alongside a photo of baby monkeys is the text, “How many animals will be killed with your March of Dimes donation?” Rejected in two other cities, the controversial outdoor ad is sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).
“Many birth defects, such as fetal alcohol syndrome, are preventable, and funds are needed for outreach and education for at-risk mothers, as well as human-centered research. In recognition of this, major corporate sponsors of the March of Dimes including K-Mart, Publix, and SaraLee have recently announced that their donations will be restricted to programs that help people, rather than animal experiments,” says PCRM’s Atlanta spokesman Glenn Nadel, D.C. “Not only do animal experiments fail to advance our knowledge, but babies can actually be harmed. Tragedy occurred when the antibiotic streptomycin was deemed safe when tested on dogs and other animals but, when given to human babies, resulted in deafness, brain damage, and, in some cases, death.”
The huge photo of young rhesus monkeys on the billboard refers to a March of Dimes-funded experiment involving monkeys who were tethered and kept in cages too small to meet federal requirements. Although the link between bacterial infections in women and pre-term birth is already well established, experimenters induced infections in pregnant monkeys, then killed and dissected their babies. WalkAmerica participants who learn about donations being wasted on pointless experiments can instead support cruelty-free charities, such as Birth Defect Research for Children, Inc. For a complete list of humane charities go to HumaneSeal.org.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.