US health institutions have spent millions of dollars on animal tests with no apparent benefits to medical science, a new report shows.
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and several other federal health agencies have handed out over $150 million to fund 95 experiments related to the effects of recreational drug on animals, according to a report by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and the Animal Justice Project.
Some of the most shocking examples of the tests include a $9.6 million study that injected LSD into the brains of rabbits to determine whether the drug causes an increase in eye blinks and head-bobbing.
Another $7.6 million was spent to investigate whether psychedelic drugs cause mice to twitch their heads.
American researchers have also spent $1.5 million to determine whether Methamphetamine is toxic to mice brains.
They also cashed out $1.1 million to see if monkeys addicted to Methamphetamine would choose food over the drug. A $709,981 study was also conducted to determine if lonely rats are more likely to become addicted to drugs.
Most of the studies yielded predictable results, the report noted. For example, researchers did indeed conclude that injecting massive amounts of hallucinogenic drugs into mice’s brains causes them to twitch their heads. It was also confirmed that Methamphetamine does have a toxic effect on their brains.
Several of the studies highlighted in the report proved to be a total failure and, in some cases, scientists killed test animals that did not behave the way they wanted them to.
The report added that despite the expensive nature of the tests, the researchers carrying out the experiments were subject to no oversight to produce results and the findings of the experiments have zero value to human health.
Scientists who carry out recreational drug tests on animals say that such studies may provide useful insight to enhance drug rehabilitation programs.
Their opponents, however, argue that results produced in animals are not always applicable to human patients.
“Mice are not humans, and tests on animals often fail to mimic human diseases or predict how the human body responds to new drugs,” said Don Ingber, founding director of Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.