Government Faults Military Experiments Database
In 1995, following PCRM's testimony before Congress citing horrendous military animal experiments, the House Armed Services Committee called for a General Accounting Office investigation. GAO investigators met with PCRM's Steven Ragland and Neal Barnard, M.D., as well as with officials from the Department of Defense.
The GAO's first finding was that it was hard for them to tell just what was going on in military laboratories. Congress had directed the military to set up a computerized Biomedical Research Database to track animal use. However, the GAO found that the military had left experiments out, including some involving goats, sheep, rodents, and primates, had omitted the numbers of animals and species used, and had skipped details on the pain and stress of the experiments. Funding information was often left out or hard to decipher. GAO investigators also found that, despite the military's prior denials, animals were indeed used in offensive weapons testing in a classified project.
The Department of Defense has promised to clean up the database for its fiscal year 1999 report. Meanwhile, the GAO is continuing its investigation into the experiments themselves, and more findings are forthcoming.