Watchdog says U of I professor broke federal animal testing regulations twice
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A Professor at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has violated federal regulations so severely that their research projects on mice and fish have been suspended twice. This professor must not be allowed to continue to experiment on animals, and must be terminated.

 

Watchdog says U of I professor broke federal animal testing regulations twice

From Evan Hensley, FoxIllinois.com, September 24, 2021

 An animal exploitation watchdog organization said that a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor needs to be fired after he allegedly violated federal testing regulations twice.
The organization, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, said that experiments led by the professor could have led to something potentially dangerous to the public.

"For this same professor, this same principal investigator, to have their protocol suspended twice in just a few years that indicates as someone who should not get to use animals," said co-founder of SAEN Michael Budkie.

Budkie believes that the professor should be fired due to the multiple violations.

The organization filed a Freedom of Information Act Request involving the investigation into the professor.

The information revealed that the professor is Principal Investigator Justin S. Rhodes.
According to information gathered from the FOIA request, Rhodes had been suspended twice for a violation of the federal guidelines in 2021 and 2017.

Letters from the request also show that the university was concerned over an experiment done that didn't follow required institutional biosafety protocols.

"For failing to utilize biosafety procedures which is potentially disturbing because it endangers university staff but also the public in general," Budkie said.

FOIA records state that Rhodes was handed down a one-year suspension and three years of probationary research when it comes to animal research.

FOX Illinois reached out to both the university and Rhodes for comment, only a university spokesperson responded by saying they were looking for someone who would know about the situation.

"Well the university is responsible for utilizing the experimentation that is performed in their laboratories," said Budkie when asked if the university is at fault for the violations.

The leader of the organization added that they see around 1,000 violation cases annually, with only around 50 ending with suspensions.

Budkie added it is odd because very few people only receive a suspension on a second mistake.

"When you are caught with serious non-compliance issues you should at the very least take them seriously and try to institute to try and bring your project back into compliance," Budkie said.

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