How is Your Car Connected to a Monkey

When you buy German cars you have given your consent to them for all the monkeys and hu­mans they have maimed and killed. It has now been discovered that Ger­man automakers funded studies that had humans and monkeys inhaling diesel fumes. Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler have been exposed in a report published by the New York Times, and various German papers, about a 2014 study carried out by the European Research Group on En­vironment and Health in the Trans­port Sector (EUGT)- a group owned by the car industries - with the aim of defending the use of diesel which had been classified in 2012 as carci­nogenic. The animal experiments were done at the Lovelace Respira­tory Research Institute (LRRI) in New Mexico, and the human ones in Aachen University Hospital, Ger­many, where the health effects of toxic "short-term nitrogen dioxide inhalation by healthy people" were studied. Nitrogen dioxide is a gas found in diesel fumes. The Univer­sity Hospital has apologized saying that the experiments were done “to optimize safety for truck drivers, mechanics and welders.” Monkeys were put into airtight chambers and they had to inhale the exhaust of the cars, for hours, till they died. Ger­man Environment Minister, Barbara Hendricks, said later, she was "hor­rified" by the news. Volkswagen has promised an inquiry into the scandal and has asked for “forgiveness for this bad behavior and for poor judg­ment.” BMW and Daimler, which owns Mercedes Benz, while agreeing that they commissioned the studies, claim they did not know animals had been used." Daimler said it was "shocked by the extent of those studies and the way they were car­ried out." Such an experiment was abhorrent and superfluous. "We are convinced that the scientific meth­ods chosen at the time were wrong. Germany's Green party has prom­ised to take up this matter with the administration of Chancellor Angela Merkel. When tests on animals and people showed the opposite of what they wanted, these car industries put a software device to cheat pollution tests about their emissions.

The Dutch are probably the only people not scandalized. Dutch researchers have been perform­ing tests "for years" on humans and animals to study the effects of diesel fumes. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) "is involved in research in which volunteers are exposed to diluted emissions from a diesel engine" for hours and this includes people who are sick and those with heart problems. Dutch researcher Nicole Janssen told the Dutch daily NRC that between 2010 and 2015 a large research project into air pollution was carried out. "I myself have carried out tests for the RIVM. With mice, rats, and occasion­ally with people," says toxicology professor, Paul Borm.

Practically every industry has ex­perimented with animals – even when it is not necessary. The sugar indus­try used a trade group called the Sug­ar Research Foundation in the 1960s, funded a research project on animals to disprove the allegation that there was a connection between sugar and heart health. Thousands of animals were fed only sugar and then dis­sected to see what the impact was on their hearts. But when the research indicated that sugar might promote not only heart disease but also blad­der cancer, the industry group ended the study and never published the results. So the animals suffered and died needlessly. The same sugar in­dustry then employed scientists to prove that artificial sweeteners were carcinogenic, and these were banned on shaky evidence. Again hundreds of animals were killed. The tobacco industry did the same, making thou­sands of animals smoke cigarettes, or be exposed to cigarette fumes, in order to try and prove that cigarette smoking was not injurious to health.

Industries that make a fool of people into buying what they do not need, or what is bad for their health, use animal suffering to ma­nipulate science. The industry that uses animals the most is the cos­metic / beauty industry. And the biggest experimenters on animals are L'Oreal, Estee Lauder, Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Johnson & John­son, S.C.Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser, Church & Dwight, Unilever, and Dial/Henkel. What is even more frightening is that com­panies that experiment on animals buy small niche companies that don’t experiment on animals, and then use those as a cover to hide their own malevolence. For instance, The Body Shop is frequented by customers who want to make an anti – animal test­ing statement. But The Body Shop is owned by L’Oreal which has the worst ethics when it comes to ani­mal testing, and is making no effort to change its policies. Tiny brands, like Burt’s Bees (owned by Clorox) and Tom’s of Maine (owner: Colgate- Palmolive), are touted as cruelty free.

These are some of the face and hair brands that test on animals: Al­may, Artistry (Amway), Avon, Bobbi Brown, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Clinique, CoverGirl, Dior, Estee Lauder, Flirt, Givenchy, Guer­lain, Helena Rubinstein, L’Oreal, Lancôme, MAC, Mary Kay, Max Fac­tor, Maybelline, Rimmel, Revlon, Shiseido, Tom Ford, Yves Saint Lau­rent, Avene, Bain de Soleil, Bioder­ma, Biotherm, Bliss, Clarins, Clean & Clear, Clearasil, Garnier, Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, La Mer, Mederma, Neu­trogena, Nivea, Noxzema, Oriflame, Ponds, Vaseline, Vichy, Walgreens, Yves Rocher, Clairol, Fekkai, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Ker­astase, Natural Instincts, Nexxus, Nice ‘n Easy, Pantene, Sunsilk, TRE­Semmé, Vidal Sasson, Dial, Dove, Ivory, Johnson’s, Lux, Wella.

One would have thought that razors and hair remover companies would not need to experiment on animals, but these companies still slice and dice animals to see whether their razors are sharp enough: Bic Corporation, Braun, Gillette Co., Nair, Schiek, Veet.

So do these brands: Band-Aid, Pampers, Savlon, Vaseline, Vicks.

And so do these sanitary napkin companies. Which towel absorbs the most blood. Test on cutting an animal and then seeing the blood: Always, Carefree, Femfresh, Stayfree.

These are only a few. None of them needs to test on animals, as none of the animal tests are reliable. In fact, statistics show that 90% of all animal tests are re­jected. So why do companies test on ani­mals? I will tell you next time. But first, why do you buy products that are tested on animals? Stop any that are on this list – including your next foreign luxury car .

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Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Maneka Gandhi is an Indian MP, animal rights activist, environmentalist and former model. Maneka Gandhi writes weekly column Heads & Tails for the Kashmir Observer. To join her animal rights movement contact [email protected]

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