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NEWS RELEASE October 29, 2009

Elizabeth Kucinich Joins PCRM as Director of Public Affairs

Policy Expert will Campaign for Chimpanzee Protection and Healthy School Lunches

WASHINGTON—Policy expert Elizabeth Kucinich, a longtime human rights advocate and animal-protection champion, is joining the staff of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). As PCRM’s director of public affairs, Mrs. Kucinich will raise awareness about the importance of healthful diets, preventive medicine, and higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Mrs. Kucinich will begin her PCRM work by campaigning in support of the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326), a bipartisan bill that would phase out invasive experiments on chimpanzees, retire federally owned chimpanzees to permanent sanctuaries, and end federal funding for the breeding of chimpanzees. Many countries, including the United Kingdom and Japan, already ban experiments on chimpanzees and other great apes, and research flourishes in these nations.

"There are critical differences in physiology between great apes and humans,” Kucinich says. “Despite 40 years of invasive research in chimpanzees, there is no human vaccine for hepatitis C or malaria. In more than 25 years of experimentation on chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates, 80 HIV vaccines have demonstrated efficacy in chimpanzees, but none have been effective in nearly 200 human trials."

"Science has evolved since the 1920s when great apes were first used in research," Kucinich says. "There are now effective and cheaper nonanimal research methods able to provide accurate results, and in the name of good science, responsible government, morality and fiscal responsibility, we are obliged to end the use of great apes in research and release them to sanctuaries."

Mrs. Kucinich will also work in support of PCRM’s campaign to improve the healthfulness of school meals by educating government and school officials, food service workers, parents, and others about the food choices best able to promote children’s current and long-term health. Childhood obesity is at an all-time high, so PCRM is joining the Institute of Medicine and other public health authorities in recommending that schools serve more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat meatless options.

Mrs. Kucinich served as an advisor to and congressional liaison for the 63 president of the United Nations General Assembly. A longtime global health advocate with a commitment to child development and education, Mrs. Kucinich has directed the Village Education Project in India and taught secondary school in rural Tanzania.

For an interview with Mrs. Kucinich, please contact Tara Failey at 202-527-7319 or tfailey@pcrm.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.



Media Contact:
Tara Failey
202-527-7319
tfailey@pcrm.org

Elizabeth Kucinich
Elizabeth Kucinich

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Phone: 202-686-2210     Email: pcrm@pcrm.org