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. Continue reading