Press Release

Protester Takes Over Microphone, Disrupts Conference as NASA Official Takes The Stage

By SpaceRef Editor
June 1, 2010
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Protester Takes Over Microphone, Disrupts Conference as NASA Official Takes The Stage

PETA Member Addresses Space Society on NASA Monkey Tests

Rosemont, Ill. — A PETA supporter took the stage and microphone this weekend just before a speech by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference. As Bolden looked on, the protester asked that NASA halt plans to fund a cruel and wasteful radiation experiment on monkeys. She spoke uninterrupted by the crowd for several minutes and received a few cheers from the audience before being escorted off the stage.

“NASA prides itself on looking to the future, but when it comes to crude and cruel animal experiments, the agency is stuck in the Dark Ages,” says PETA Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo. “NASA should be ashamed of squandering nearly $2 million of the public’s money on a wasteful project that harms animals and won’t protect astronauts.”

PETA has asked NASA to scrap plans to spend $1.75 million to subject as many as 30 squirrel monkeys to a dangerous dose of radiation and a lifetime of confinement and experimentation in order to observe how the radiation devastates their brains and bodies. Monkeys used in earlier radiation experiments conducted by the government have suffered from brain tumors, blindness, cognitive decline, and other conditions.

Because of the biological differences between species and the fact that astronauts are exposed to low levels of radiation over extended periods of time–as opposed to the single large dose that the monkeys will be given in a matter of minutes–results of radiation experiments on monkeys cannot be reliably applied to humans.

PETA has supported dozens of protests against these experiments at NASA facilities and at events across the country. The group also recently filed a complaint with the inspector general of NASA alleging that federal regulations as well as NASA’s own grant guidelines were violated during the approval process for the project.

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SpaceRef staff editor.