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University of Washington officials accused of falsifying USDA reports in complaint 

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Contact: Michael Budkie 513-703-9865 (cell)

ATTENTION: Daybook/News Desk

University of Washington officials accused of falsifying USDA reports in complaint; News Conference set Thursday

SEATTLE - University of Washington officials here have filed false reports to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture - and have engaged in a cover-up to conceal illegal activities in its laboratories, according to a complaint filed with the USDA by a national research watchdog organization.

A major news conference to release details of the complaint will be held on THURSDAY, 10:15 a.m. at the Seattle Tower (1218 Third Avenue, 3rd Floor, Room 315), hosted by SAEN, an Ohio-based non-profit investigatory organization.

SAEN was the original filer of the federal complaint which exposed abuses by UW researcher Albert Fuchs in late 2006. Fuchs has since been reprimanded by the UW, cited by the USDA and barred from publishing his research.

Thursday, SAEN will make public internal UW documents indicating the school has falsified reports by not reporting research which cause unrelieved pain and/or distress. SAEN analysts have concluded UW projects fall into this category, but have not been reported honestly. The university is liable for heavy fines for violating federal law.

SAEN said it will name names at the news conference, including that of UW researcher Michael Shadlen, who is suspected of performing unapproved surgeries.

SAEN said it has uncovered protocols at UW where researchers routinely deprive macaque monkeys of water for as long as 18 hours per day, 5 days per week. In other laboratories these practices have led to primates of approximately 28 pounds receiving less than one-quarter cup of water for an entire day.

"The practice of depriving primates of water is such a cruel practice that it should not be allowed by government regulatory agencies," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., SAEN's Executive Director. "If a private individual deprived a companion animal of water in this way, they would go to jail."


See Facility Reports and Information: University of Washington - Seattle

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