Please end funding for cruel vision experiments on monkeys
I am very disturbed to learn that millions of taxpayer dollars from the National Eye Institute fund extremely cruel and unproductive vision experiments on monkeys. The recent announcement by the American Academy of Ophthalmology about digital eyeglasses to successfully treat childhood amblyopia highlights the lack of relevance and outcomes from primate vision research. The specialized eyeglasses, marketed as Amblyz,™ can block vision in one eye without the stigma of eye patches or stress of repeated eye drops. Doctors and parents confirm that lack of cooperation from children with patching or eye drops is the single obstacle to these otherwise effective therapies. The Amblyz™ glasses are cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as a medical device and available to patients for around $450. Unfortunately, millions of taxpayer dollars continue to go towards researching childhood amblyopia by inflicting vision abnormalities on baby monkeys who are then subjected to hours, even days, of invasive brain recording experiments. The University of Houston has received $6,944,201 since 1988 to fund amblyopia research using monkeys in repetitive experiments that are still ongoing. And at New York University, where monkey experiments on amblyopia have been conducted since 1992, the National Eye Institute granted NYU $2.6 million to fund cruel monkey experiments in 2015 alone. Please stop funding these experiments which inflict great suffering on sensitive baby monkeys and have yielded nothing of human medical relevance in more than 30 years.
This message is going to Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D. Director, National Eye Institute
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