Celebrities Speak Against NASA’s Monkey Radiation Experiments
Woody Harrelson, Zachary Quinto, Alicia Silverstone, James Cromwell, Allison
Janney, Kristen Bell, Emily Deschanel, and Elizabeth Perkins, Join IDA’s Effort
To Save Monkeys
San Rafael, Calif. – In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international animal
protection organization with over 85,000 members, today released letters from
celebrities opposed to NASA-funded experiments. The experiments, which NASA
wants conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), involve irradiating
squirrel monkeys. IDA and the International Primate Protection League (IPPL), a
South Carolina-based non-profit dedicated to protecting the world’s primates,
filed a complaint about the experiments.
The celebrities signed on to the IDA-drafted letter to U.S. Energy Secretary
Steven Chu, NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr., and BNL Director Dr.
Samuel Aronson. Those who have signed to date are: Woody Harrelson, Zachary
Quinto, Alicia Silverstone, James Cromwell, Allison Janney, Kristen Bell, Emily
Deschanel, and Elizabeth Perkins.
NASA’s proposed experiments would inundate these tiny monkeys - only a foot tall
– with one massive burst of gamma radiation equal to a 3-year journey to Mars
and back. Since the 1950's, thousands of primates have been exposed to various
dosages of radiation including radio frequency, microwave, X-ray, gamma,
electron, proton, neutron and other particle radiation. Studies have already
shown that gamma radiation can cause depressive behavior, immobility,
hyperirritability, convulsions, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, hair loss, open
sores, skin hemorrhages, and even death.
Previous research has also proven that animals of different species – even of
different strains of the same species – react differently to radiation, which
calls into question the experiments’ scientific value in advancing protection
for human astronauts.
NASA has already committed $1.75 million in taxpayer money to the experiments.
NASA wants BNL - a lab run by the Department of Energy - to conduct the
radiation portion of the experiments. BNL has not yet decided to proceed. The
experiments are being reviewed by BNL's safety, science, and animal welfare
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