By Lynn Hamilton
I applaud the United States Food and Drug Administration for its decision to close down a study that killed four monkeys.
Since 2014, the National Center for Toxicological Research has been conducting a study on the affects of nicotine on squirrel monkeys. That study has now been shut down, after pressure from Jane Goodall and animal rights organizations.
Nicotine studies should be conducted on paid, human volunteers, preferably those who are already smokers. Studying small animals to an effort to understand how various chemicals affect humans is not efficient.
I think we all knew that nicotine kills people. And now we know it kills monkeys. Have we actually learned anything new here?
We already know that nicotine is addictive, and we already know that it is a powerful addiction, one that is difficult to overcome.
For further, more refined knowledge on the exact effects of nicotine use, human volunteers should be recruited exclusively. The problem with using monkeys is that:
- Monkeys don’t smoke voluntarily outside labs. Humans do.
- Monkeys didn’t volunteer to be part of a dangerous experiment. Humans will volunteer for dangerous experiments if well paid.
- Monkeys are in no way paid or rewarded for such experiments. Humans will, reasonably enough, demand to be paid.
- Subjecting an innocent animal to a substance already known to cause death is morally irresponsible.