Friday, February 29, 2008

Making Cigarettes Save for Pregnant Women

"Among the most horrifying things I witnessed were the times when baby monkeys were stolen away from their mothers. This was a chaotic, ugly, heart-wrenching scene. A worker wearing thick leather gloves would reach into the cage where the baby clung to her mother's breast, and snatch the baby by one shoulder and arm and rip her from her mother who was screaming and desperately fighting to keep her baby safe. Once the baby was removed, the entire room of monkeys would erupt into total pandemonium -- screaming, thrashing and crashing into the sides of their cages -- some reaching out through the bars in vain to get their babies back."

Eliot Spindel, a researcher at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).... implants nicotine pumps into pregnant monkeys, delivering daily doses of the addictive substance to the mothers so he can cut their babies out at various stages of development and dissect their lungs. Some of the babies are allowed to go full term, only to be ripped away from their mothers, causing severe depression in the adults and terror in the infants.

The hazards of smoking are common knowledge, yet Spindel continues to confine, cut up, and kill these helpless monkeys in a ludicrous quest to find a way for pregnant women to smoke without causing harm to their fetuses.

NIH has funded Spindel since 1992 to the tune of $7.6 million dollars, and this travesty is scheduled to continue though 2012. Money that would be better spent on human studies, smoking cessation education, and prevention programs.

More here