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Victory! NASA Suspends Monkey Radiation Experiments

April Evans and PCRM Research and Education Programs Coordinator Noah Gittell Speak Out Against NASA's Primate ExperimentesNASA has cancelled the proposed monkey radiation experiments that PCRM has strongly opposed. Administration officials informed PCRM that the experiments have been dropped due to scientific and ethical concerns. Meanwhile, the space agency issued a statement Dec. 9 explaining that it is planning an extensive review of its radiation programs.

The experiments aimed to expose squirrel monkeys to ionizing radiation to simulate hazards of interplanetary space travel. In November 2009, PCRM filed a federal petition for administrative action seeking to compel the government to halt the experiments because they violate the NASA Principles for the Ethical Care and Use of Animals. PCRM also urged NASA’s inspector general to stop the experiments and filed legal complaints stating that the experiments violate the Animal Welfare Act. 

In September 2010, former NASA engineer April Evans joined PCRM staff in a packed room on Capitol Hill. Evans had left her job at NASA when the agency refused to address her concerns about the experiments.

Evans explained that the experiments on squirrel monkeys are cruel and would not serve the intended purpose of keeping astronauts safe. What NASA should focus on, she said, is developing technologies that will shield astronauts from radiation—an opinion shared by former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the Space Radiation Environments Group, and President Obama.

PCRM will continue its work to ensure that these experiments never happen.



 

Good Medicine: NASA Monkey Radiation Experiments Canceled

Good Medicine
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