NIH allegedly tortured monkeys in the name of science for over 40 years

At Maryland facility, NIH exposed monkeys to toy spiders and snakes 'with no benefit to anybody', costing $100 million since 2007 alone


                            NIH allegedly tortured monkeys in the name of science for over 40 years
The main lobby of the National Institutes of Health (Duane Lempke/Wikimedia Commons) with an insert of a monkey being experimented on (White Coat Waste Project)
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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has reportedly been torturing monkeys for over 40 years, reportedly to study their psychology, an old resurfaced report says. The report, published by the White Coat Waste Project (WCW) in 2019 has resurfaced in the aftermath of the report on "dog killing" experiments in Tunisia. The expose is likely to add immense pressure to the NIH, which is already facing massive backlash over its Covid-19 guidance. 

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Using animals in science experiments is not a new thing, but over the past few years, it has increasingly come under scrutiny for the inhumane way scientist treat their subjects. In 2019, the University of Gothenburg in Sweden faced massive backlash after it was revealed six dogs would be euthanized after they were experimented on. But it's not just animal experiments that have caused controversy, in 2020 two New York twins made headlines after revealing they were separated at birth in the name of science.

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Days ago, it was revealed Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) had funded cruel experiments on 44 beagles in Tunisia, through the University of Georgia Research Foundation. Also mentioned in the report was the research institute SRI International, where the dogs were euthanized and dissected. The revelation caused massive outrage online, with people calling on Fauci to be fired, but as the WCW reveals, it isn't the only inhumane experiment the government is funding. 

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Screenshots from the videos show monkeys being tortured in small cages at the NIH facility in Maryland. (White Coat Waste Project)

NIH torturing monkeys for over 40 years

For decades, the NIH has reportedly been running psychological experiments on primates at its Bethesda, Maryland facility. The WCW revealed that the experiments have cost over $100m since 2007, and $1.7m in 2019 alone. Reportedly, the monkeys are locked in small cages and intentionally frightening with mechanical snakes and plastic spiders. They then destroy part of the primates' brain with acid, to "intentionally worsen the primates' fear." It's unclear why the experiments were being done. They appear to be purely psychological, with no links to any diseases or cures.

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While the NIH has been funding the experiments, they are run by the National Primate Research Center. The WCW was forced to sue the NIH to get access to the tapes of the experiments after they initially conceded to the experiments in a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request. Dubbed a "taxpayer-funded fear factory", the WCW report was published by The Washington Times. An expert told The Times, "The physical and psychological trauma these monkeys experience will not translate to improved outcomes for the real human patients that my colleagues and I treat for anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders."

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Screenshots from videos show monkeys being tortured with plastic spiders. (White Coat Waste Project)

 

In one released video, one NIH researcher can be heard joking, "Where the hell is the dancing monkey?" after one of the tests on the terrified monkeys ends. Speaking to the Times, WCW's VP Justin Goodman added, "These experiments have been funded for 43 straight years with no benefit to anybody. Some people have made a career out of torturing monkeys." The story did eventually make its way to Congress, where Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said, "As Congress fights to reduce our nation’s $1 trillion budget deficit and set the NIH budget for 2021, I will fight to get this multi-million-dollar monkey business on the chopping block."

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Eventually, in December 2020, Congress passed legislation requiring federal agencies to provide more detailed and precise documentation of both the methods and goals of their research on live animals. It also required testing on primates to end, and eventually be replaced by "modern alternatives". But as the beagle experiment expose reveals, it appears animal testing continues with little checks. 

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