The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 (S. 3729) has passed the House of Representatives and is headed to Obama's desk. Unlike the original House draft of this bill, the final version does not include language that would require "justification and rationale for any additional research involving non-human primates."
When Russia recently commenced experiments on monkeys, the move was condemned by both Russian and European astronauts. Not long after, the U.S. Announced a plan to spend $1.75 million experimenting on monkeys, causing a NASA engineer to quit in protest. The European Space Agency has stated that it does not plan to use primates and there is no need for animal experiments.
If S. 3729 is signed into law, it will authorize taxpayer dollars to be used on blasting squirrel monkeys with massive doses of radiation.
NASA claims these tests are necessarily to determine how humans in space might react to long-term exposure of low levels of radiation. However, there are obvious flaws to this research: 1) High doses of radiation are not the same as low levels of radiation. 2) Squirrel monkeys are not the same as humans. 3) The dangers of radiation are not a secret.
Urge President Obama to take a stand against these cruel experiments by vetoing S. 3729 and insisting that appropriations for NASA include clauses that prevent taxpayer money from being spent on wasteful, cruel animal experiments.
Photo credit: NASA