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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Press Releases

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2002
Contact: Michael Budkie (513) 575-5517

John Hopkins' Ecstasy Study Irrelevant,
Harms Human Health, Says Animal Research Watchdog Organization

BALTIMORE A Johns Hopkins University study announced this week and heavily reported by news gathering organizations that apparently linked permanent brain damage and Parkinson's disease to the drug Ecstasy is irrelevant, and may actually harm human health, according to an animal research watchdog group.

Further, recent government reports indicate substantial Animal Welfare Act violations within the laboratories at Johns Hopkins University, including mysterious deaths of research primates and violations of federal regulations for veterinary care, according to SAEN, a Cincinnati-based watchdog organization.

Regarding the Ecstasy drug study, "There is no guarantee that baboons and squirrel monkeys react to MDMA the same way that humans do," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director of SAEN.

"The neurotoxicity of ecstasy (MDMA) has been known for over a decade," he added. "Ricaurte's research demonstrates little that is new," noting that "human clinical and in vitro studies are far more relevant."

Ricaurte, Budkie said, is simply getting wealthy by doing irrelevant testings. According to information available on the website of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Ricaurte has been funded by the NIH to study drug addiction in primates since at least 1989. He currently receives a salary estimated to be well over $120,000 a year through NIH grants.

Further, Johns Hopkins University receives more than $180 million a year for animal studies, and is one of the top ten universities nationwide for animal experimentation funding, according to a SAEN report (available at: http://www.all-creatures.org/saen/articles-rep-anexp.html ).

"The recent furor over Ricaurte's experiments is just another example of a grant bloated facility trying to justify the pork barrel budget it has stolen from the American Public," added Budkie.

"There are literally hundreds of federally funded experiments wasting hundreds of millions of dollars making drug addicts out of non-human primates, rats, and mice, at a time when humans with substance abuse problems can't access treatment programs for lack of federal funding," he said.

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