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 committees.

Copies of the IDA/IPPL complaint and the celebrities’ letters are available upon request.

For more information, please visit www.idausa.org.


Contact: Rachel Weil, rachel@weilpr.com, 818-341-3646
Eric Kleiman, ericsk@idausa.org, 717-939-3231

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization located in San Rafael, Calif. dedicated to protecting animals' rights, welfare, and habitat through education, outreach, and our hands-on rescue facilities in Mumbai, India, Cameroon, Africa, and rural Mississippi. _________________________________________________________________________________

IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048

32 Comments on “Celebrities Speak Against NASA ' s Monkey Radiation Experiments”

  • Dianne Douglas wrote on 18 February, 2010, 16:03

    “If all the beasts were gone, man would die from loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beast, happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of earth.” Chief Seattle

    Every life has a purpose. All animals are individuals and they have feelings and thoughts and they suffer the pain and the joy that we do. They are entitled and they deserve an opportunity to live.

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi

  • Dianne Douglas wrote on 18 February, 2010, 16:07

    “If all the beasts were gone, man would die from loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beast, happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of earth.” Chief Seattle

    Every life has a purpose. All animals are individuals and they have feelings and thoughts and they suffer the pain and the joy that we do. They are entitled and they deserve an opportunity to live.

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi

  • kay wrote on 18 February, 2010, 16:16

    stop these cruel exoperiments!

  • bill wrote on 18 February, 2010, 16:18

    experiment on past animal abusers!

  • Arline Larson wrote on 18 February, 2010, 16:52

    Do not allow these beautiful monkeys to be treated this way.

  • Nancy Amidzich wrote on 18 February, 2010, 17:44

    In their capacity to suffer animals are our equal. Animals do not want to be used in any experiment! If humans wants to know the affects of gamma radiation on humans then humans should test it on themselves. You don’t want to? Neither does the monkey!

  • Janet Rico wrote on 18 February, 2010, 18:01

    This is so infuriating! Not only is it animal cruelty but also a tremendous waste of tax payer money. Seriously, in the nation’s worst economic crisis in decades, this is how NASA will spend a ton of money?! Money wasted on a) tests already conducted in the past, b) results on the monkeys that are already known, c) results that will not necessarily manifest in the same manner in humans and d) monkeys subjected to suffering for nothing, COST TO TAXPAYERS = $1.75 Million !!!!!

  • sheila wrote on 18 February, 2010, 20:11

    I would say why dont they experiment on the child molesters child murderers animal abusers.The dregs of society and we do not need them but instead they want to use these sweet little monkeys that have done nothing to anyone.Why are researchers so cruel?I dont know how they sleep at night knowing the next day they are going into work to inflict gross pain and suffering to lab animals.

  • anthony wrote on 19 February, 2010, 0:45

    “People must have renounced, it seems to me, all natural intelligence to dare to advance that animals are but animated machines…. It appears to me, besides, that [such people] can never have observed with attention the character of animals, not to have distinguished among them the different voices of need, of suffering, of joy, of pain, of love, of anger, and of all their affections. It would be very strange that they should express so well what they could not feel.” ~ Voltaire

  • Colleen wrote on 19 February, 2010, 5:09

    This continues to be a totally disheartening issue. I can only believe animal experimentation to test human responses is a way of creating jobs and giving monies to institutions who want to survive for the sole purpose of suviving. I truly believe many of these lab workers would be very dangerous outside of the labs if they didn’t have something to legally torture. You have to wonder about the people who conduct these experiments… We need to wake up to this insidious behavior and see it for what it really is – totally babaric and criminal. This disrespect to our animal partners will come back and haunt us someday – deservedly so.

  • Fernando Bergamaschi wrote on 19 February, 2010, 5:35

    They should, as real scientists, test in themselves. Would make a big money economy and make earth cleaner. Spent that money on education or a decent research, not a dirty way to deviate funds.

  • Laurie Hein wrote on 19 February, 2010, 7:04

    My Heart and Soul continue to cry out for the animals who suffer continously, without regard or compassion or ANY caring! I hope to just see the day when animals will be celebrated and truly cared for the way they deserve to live life! STOP TORTURING ANIMALS!

  • mg wrote on 19 February, 2010, 8:32

    “In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they’re the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought.”
    Isaac Bashevis Singer, author, Nobel Prize 1978

  • Joanne Fanizzo wrote on 19 February, 2010, 9:07

    For those who see grace in all living things, knowing that all life deserves respect and is connected, can our consciousness prevail?

  • shelley sechrist wrote on 19 February, 2010, 12:13

    I think you should just use Dick Cheney, George Bush and the like for your experiments. Leave all the innocent animals alone. Grrrr.

  • Gail Camhi wrote on 19 February, 2010, 18:35

    Westerners have been kept from knowledge of the truth of karma. It works whether we acknowledge it or not. Look at all the apparent inequity around us. People who sign up for damage to themselves are LIVING THE LEGACY THEY THEMSELVES CREATED in a prior life. Those who torture animals will reap what they sow. Rest assured there is a cosmic justice.

  • Cynthia Viar wrote on 19 February, 2010, 18:45

    Sciientists should use death roll inmates and other abusers as their target for expeeriments.Not, innocent animals.I can’t understand why in all these years scientist can’t find a cure.After all, aren’t these experiments to help cure people, not animals.So, why use animals to find a cure for human illinesses? I vote for them to use Micheal Vick as a ginnea pig for there experiments. And, others who mindfullly abuse animals.At least the scientist and the abusers will have something in common.So, they’ll have something to talk about during the experiment.!

  • pasquet wrote on 21 February, 2010, 2:08

    People think they can do everything they want to the animals but that’s wrong.
    We have to protect and love them. They borned without badness contrary to humans.

  • Anne wrote on 21 February, 2010, 3:08

    anne’s comment: see; the experiment is “a flawed experiment to begin with and this is why the experiment must be stopped; here is why:

    “if the experiment is to find out how much radiation an astronaut would encounter on a 3 year voyage to Mars; the experiment should be thusly:

    (note: I do not approve ANY experiments on animals; just comparing tests
    so if the experiment is about “3 years worth of radiation; then IF the experiement were to go on which i hope it doesn’t; the experiment should be: “Give the monkeys a tiny bit of radiation; during a 3 year time frame; should as what would be the equivalant of a 3 yr. space journey by man;


    because the Astronauts do not get One burst of radiation on a journey;
    they get a little radiation every day for 3 years; the expermient is flawed; and the experiment: SIGNIFIES NOTHING but overt animal abuse; imo A.

  • David Bernazani wrote on 21 February, 2010, 22:06

    I have been a lifelong supporter of NASA for 50 years, but this planned experimenttation digusts and sickens me. I am sorry I ever supported an organization that would consider doing such a cruel and inhumane thing. I will call them and give them a piece of my mind!

  • Fernando Cruces Fernandez wrote on 22 February, 2010, 0:01

    Consideración y respeto a nuestros seres vivos (sistema nervioso con capacidad de movimiento y sensación: alegría a los buenos estímulos y sufrimiento a los malos y naturalmente a la tortura) mas inocentes y maravillosos, los nobles animales.
    Hay que ser muy sádico y sicópata para hacer daño a los buenos animales

  • lola wrote on 22 February, 2010, 12:13

    I agree with Anne,
    the experiment is flawed so there is absolutely no reason for it to take place. We still won’t know what will happen to the Astronauts

  • Debbie Zarr wrote on 22 February, 2010, 14:41

    Why do the NASA scientists find these experiments necessary? What a senseless waste of life for these poor creatures. NASA ought to be ashamed of its scientists for subjecting the monkeys to such torture!!!

  • carmen wrote on 25 February, 2010, 7:30

    We should respect animals. they are beutiful and gracerull beings and we should protect them instead of killing them, experiment with them or abuse them. i think is our duty to take care of everything that we have in the planet.

  • Diana Dick wrote on 13 May, 2010, 16:43

    I´m agree with Fernando Bergamaschi, I believe too that a lot of humans beings feel or think that are better than all other species, with all rights for kill, for torture.
    Respect to all creatures, read to Mahatma Ghandi, learn to be compassive

  • Andrea Nix wrote on 18 May, 2010, 6:31

    They still operate off the old paradigm that animals don’t feel/have spirit. Very ingrained idea in our ancient psyches, and they use it! The idea is a lie!
    How can intelligent “advanced” humans, like researchers are supposed to be, keep one hand so deep in the ignorance bag, using far outdated mentalities like – animals don’t think/feel – to their own advantage?!!!

  • Ms. Jay Lynn wrote on 22 May, 2010, 2:56

    I echo “do not allow these beautiful monkeys to be treated this way!” NASA wastes billions every year that could otherwise be spent saving endangered species and their environments from extinction. Many plants are still being discovered in the rainforests that may have medicinal purposes, such as helping to heal cancer patients. NASA, BP, Haliburton, Transocean all seem to want to create ‘dead zones’ where they can continue to drill for oil and gas, mine for coal with mountaintop removal, because “nothing can grow there anyway, so we might as well be allowed to continue.” Marine biologists should immediately takeover the operations of the “clean-up” of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill-GUSHER!!! Otherwise they will take there time in order to maximize profits with a bigger dead zone. Those CEO’s should all get at least 20 year prison time! They are all worse than the ENRON CEO’s! Every American and every Mexican should immediately get one million! BP makes about one BILLION every three months!!! Anyone who eats fish should stop immediately because the chemical dispersements they are using melts the boots of fisherman!!! China executed those responsible for getting the chemical melamine in the milk supply! Maybe the above CEO’s should get life in prison in return for not getting the death penalty! Google green960.com to listen to the Norman Goldman show in discussion on copying the divestment campaign against South Africa apartheid government! But instead of just exiting BP, Haliburton, Transocean stock, and any company (or politician) doing business with them, environmental scientists (not nuclear power supporters, they are nuclear bomb factories in disguise, and radiate local drinking water supplies in France!) should suggest specific solar panel energy, wind farm energy, biofuel energy (not food like corn or soy biofuels) companies to invest in instead! We should not risk “four out of five nuclear bombs stopped the Soviet Union oil spill-GUSHERS, but these were above ground, not under the ocean, there is the very real risk of being the fifth nuclear bomb failure that DOUBLES this GUSHER!!! We need every expert to stop this GUSHER!!! Not the idiot CEO’s and politicians who caused it!!!

  • sandcanyongal wrote on 26 May, 2010, 20:08

    Here goes. I consider myself to be a warrior for the protection of animals and our ecosystems, through action and writing. I worked in Malaria research. while working for a research lab in Chicago (Illinois Institute of Technology, Research Instute) in the mid ’60s for 2 years. I worked with mice, rats, but mostly baby chicks. I have injected, tested and killed

    many young animals To this day I’m unabsolved of the sins against other living creatures. I still clearly see the little yellow baby chick that woke up while I was removing it’s blood from its heart and saw the terror. Was there a positive benefit to the research? I don’t know. The project was mass testing for malaria drugs during the Viet Nam War. At that time the parasite became resistant to the regular drugs like quinine. As a side comment, the executive in charge of R&D was a former Nazi prisoner that escaped and it was common knowledge he was tatooed. Yet, he lacked compassion for other creatures by virtue of his position.

    Religions have become social clubs, not pillars and leaders within their communities as teachers. Compassion and reverence for the earth, in fact is nonexistent. Instead, the dumb trucks idolize icons, people centric views, ignoring common sense or the instinct to survive, except maybe at a Macy’s sale. Observe that most religions are mini-tribes. The people in the tribe act as a united clan and anyone deviating from their views like be gays, poor, unmarried but living together or skin color are shunned and basically not accepted as a member. Where is this written in the bible?
    As a Catholic, I do not recall reading, “Thou shalt not murder”. It was, “Thou shalt not kill”. Their meanings are mutually distinct. Killing is wrong, whether in war, each other or any animal. The single most significant contribution religion can make going forward is for each religion to re-introduce stewardship of the planet into society.
    Let’s face it. Our government, the same government we elected as public servants to protect each of us equally are in collusion with the rich, developers, utilities, investors, corporate media and international corporations are at war against the sovereign people of America. It used to be thinly veiled. Now, it’s right out in the open – full transparency.
    Though oil and fossil fuels are the heartbeat of global warming world-wide, these monsters continue to lie, cheat, lobby, bribe and much more as documented throughout history to continue their march.

    In the words of someone much wiser than me, “Has the government declared war on the true sovereign, the people of America? To support war against the sovereign is treason. If we trace the meaning of war to its indo-European roots we find it means to confuse or mix up. Here the government in collusion with the oligarchs of capitalism, safely behind their corporate

    fortresses, are taking our future. They strip us of peace, security, health and welfare. Even the most modest measures such as health care reform are poised to be overturned by the Supreme Court. This is not unlike post civil war civil rights. However, his time we do not have another 100 years to undo the injustice. Who will represent the people and stand against these capitalist warriors before it is too late?

    Perhaps President Obama should add more Supreme Court judges. This time, ones that will represent the people.

    The people are saying that our government is the best money can buy. Worse is the fact the money came from the sweat of the people and taken by financial legerdemain”.

    No one has the right to entitle themselves to our national treasures. The sovereign people of the United States own this country, not legislators, Supreme Court, public servants or international companies. We are equal stakeholders in assuring the health and future of our planet.

    I came across a few good radio programs on kpfk.org. What highlights them is the discussion on the dam that will be constructed on the Amazon in Brazil and Avo Moralis, President, Bolivia.

    Site: http://archive.kpfk.org/parchive/index.php Click on play to listen to the reports. 1) Democracy Now!, Wednesday,

    April 21, 2010, 6:00, 0:56:09, 58, Play, Download 2) Sojourner Truth with Margaret Prescod, Wednesday, April 21, 0:58:37, 88,

    Play, Download

    The earth should be each of our Gardens of Eden, not “hell on earth”.

    However, the people are no different from when man first stood foot on the ground. Man would have been equivalent to T-Rex in the age of the dinasours. Today, we resemble the great white shark, another calculated and most effective killer.
    We’ve become the ultimate predator and killing machine and we’re overrunning the planet without regard that we’re killing our life support systems. As I write bears are being kept in sickening conditions and bled of their bile so men in Asia can get it up. A cover on National Geo. was “Who kill of the mountain gorillas”. Right here surrounding Tehachapi, the wind and solar infrastructure will fragment more of the Mojave Desert. A new playland for the rich at the cost of the ONLY DESERT in the United States……….and anyone has the audacity to strip it of any worth. I don’t think so this time.


    It’s not the ravings of a crazy lady, but a good nose for bull and relentless in finding truth.
    1) Growth in the Mojave Desert was a quietly planned strategy of building MORE wealth for the already dripping in diamonds rich.
    2) The road and freeway infrastructure in eastern Kern, paid for by you and me, we will pay for it again and again, first in cost of the road improvements, fees added to the building of structures and transportation fees for periodic maintenance, over and over again. A catchy tune could say “You’ll wonder where your money went when you drive on roads build by our government!”
    3) The taxpayers will pay 30% of the total cost of building solar and wind plants then we pay for them again for the privelege of using the energy on a monthly basis.

    Obama, for all his rhetoric, has done NOTHING for the people. “We the corporations ring out loud and clear”. Our founding fathers and the men and women who died for freedom are rolling in their graves.
    Ban on Polar Bear Hunting defeated.
    Supply patterns of products In the Singapore and Malaysia national surveys, the regularity of supply was assessed in detail. In Singapore, 13 out the 50 shops selling bear products (26%) had a regular supply10. In Malaysia, traders in Peninsular

    Malaysia stated they had regular supplies of bear galls, bear bile and manufactured bear bile medicines. In Sarawak and Sabah, there was an irregular supply of galls, but some availability of bear bile and manufactured medicines9. In the latter study, China was named as the main source of galls for Peninsular Malaysia.
    Methods of importation The extent of the trade in bear products in some countries clearly indicated that there were well …… http://www.wspa.ca/Images/BearBileSection2_tcm22-2709.pdf

    Accurate censuses of wild bear populations need to be carried out urgently to determine the real picture. However, the best solution would be to stop the demand from the international market. In addition to the illegal international trade in bear galls, the international smuggling of live bear cubs to supplement the captive stocks in China’s bear farms is a continuing problem. China has stated that captive breeding on the bears farms is successful. However, in 1999 and 2000, bear farm workers

    stated that some of their bears were obtained from Myanmar4. Also, in early 2002, 17 bear cubs were confiscated in the Russian

    Far East, on the border between Russia and China. Smugglers were attempting to take them into China, to be used in China for the production of medicines16.
    Excerpt: … Finally, and perhaps most important with regard to the shape of the industry as it functions in Nunavut today, contacts with southern big game hunt wholesalers expanded. As attractive economically (see Economic Analysis section) as sport hunting was or may be, its expansion, even after the sealskin price crash, was slow in many areas. Again Clyde River offers an example. There, intense community discussion was conducted for nearly two years before a majority of the Hunters and Trappers Organization members (and the community) agreed to allocate a part (two tags) of Clyde’s annual quota of 21 bears (see Davis 1999) to visiting sport hunters. While such redisence was not necessarily the case in every community, it does underscore how deliberate the decision by Inuit in some communities to accept sport hunting was. In fact, as will be discussed, a minority of Inuit was found during the course of the present research to still object to sport hunting. While government programs, local economic necessity and incidental improvements in access to Nunavut all have been important to the growth of the polar bear sport hunting industry in the North and the South, the satisfaction visiting hunters achieve in obtaining trophies is also critical. The fact that a German, Mexican or American hunter may pay upward of US $20,000.00 in itself means that the probability of successmust be high. As Tables 4 and 5 show,success has been the norm.
    http://www.nrf.is/Publications/The%20Resilient%20North/Plenary%202/3rd%20NRF_Plenary%202_PP_Wenzel.pdf (page 7) Nothing but nothing is as it seems.

    -Silence is Consent

  • emn151 wrote on 18 June, 2010, 9:36

    This is a SIN, We have technology now, we do not reside in the dark ages anymore. It’s time that this method of testing be extinguished. I think the people that preform these atrocity should they themselves be treated the same way the treat the animals with no mercy what so ever. Let me tell them what answer they are looking for , Here it is (ready), Radiation harms humans. Animals are not humans. So why don’t these brilliant minds start testing on their own family members, after all we are testing to find out what the results would impact humans and they can speak so you can ask the test dummies themselves. Just a thought.

  • Selena wrote on 17 February, 2012, 14:17

    Yes. Those animals are innocent. They don’t deserve this cruelty.

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