From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1995:
NYU sells LEMSIP chimps to Coulston
STERLING FOREST, N.Y.––The New York University
Medical Center on August 9 transferred ownership of the Laboratory
for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates to the Coulston
Foundation, headed by Frederick Coulston, 81.
A primate researcher since 1936, Coulston is accused of
multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act in pending cases,
which allegedly caused the deaths of five chimps from thirst and heat
stress in two separate incidents at other primate facilities he runs in
New Mexico. Coulston claims three of those deaths were due to
malfunctioning equipment inherited when he took over one of the
facilities from the University of New Mexico two months earlier.
Activist groups are meanwhile demanding reinvestigation of eight
other recent chimp deaths at Coulston facilities, which also may
have involved alleged negligence.
LEMSIP founder Dr. Jan Moor-Jankowski, 71, an outspo-
ken advocate of animal welfare whose chimpanzee facilities have
been a model of openness and high care standards, charged earlier
this year (see April) that NYU negotiated the Coulston deal to retali-
ate for complaints he and LEMSIP deputy director Dr. James
Mahoney issued last year about negligent care of primates used in
crack cocaine addiction studies by fellow NYU researcher Dr.
Ronald Wood. Responding to those complaints, the USDA on April
11 charged NYU with seven violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
The sale of LEMSIP to the Coulston Foundation proceeded
despite an August 8 letter to NYU president Jay Oliva from USDA
acting assistant secretary for marketing and regulatory programs
Patricia Jensen, advising him that an investigation of Moor-
Jankowski’s accusations of retaliation is underway, and concluding,
“If you anticipate selling LEMSIP, you may wish to delay negotia-
tions until the investigation is completed.”
Also on August 9, NYU terminated Moor-Jankowski’s
research professorship in forensic medicine, with 22 days notice,
and barred him from the LEMSIP premises. He had been director of
LEMSIP since 1965.
Coulston’s acquisition of the 225 LEMSIP chimps gives
him control of 765 of the estimated 1,500 chimps now in the U.S.
biomedical research population, including 140 descendants of those
used in the early U.S. space program, which he keeps under contract
with the U.S. Air Force. Language in an early version of the Fiscal
Year 1996 Defence Authorization Bill would have given those
chimps to Coulston outright, but in May was killed in committee
due to the opposition of primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall to the deal.
U.S. Surgical buys into pig business
U.S. Surgical Corp., the major funder of the anti-animal
rights group Americans for Medical Progress, on August 3 bought
from Alexion Pharmaceuticals the global marketing rights to trans-
genic organs grown in pigs for xenotransplant into humans. The
deal came two months after Nextran Inc. announced it had success-
fully bred pigs bearing human genes; two weeks after the Loma
Linda University Medical Center announced plans to xenotransplant
pig hearts into humans within five years; and one week after the
Food and Drug Administration approved the experimental xeno-
transplant of pig livers transgenically altered by Nextran into dying
human patients. The FDA is now reviewing the application of the
University of Pittsburgh and San Francisco General Hospital to give
AIDS patient Jeff Getty, 37, a xenotransplant of baboon bone mar-
row in September. Baboons don’t get the HIV form of AIDS; if the
xenotransplant takes, Getty might acquire their immunity, the
source of which is unknown.
Clifton talks to researchers
Foundation for Biomedical Research information direc-
tor Jim Stallings recently interviewed ANIMAL PEOPLE editor
Merritt Clifton on ways to resolve conflicts between biomedical
researchers and the animal protection community. To get the com-
plete 14-page transcript, parts of which appeared in the May/June
edition of FBR News, e-mail a request to ANMLPEOPLE@aol.com,
or send $2 for photocopying and postage to ANIMAL PEOPLE,
POB 205, Shushan, NY 12873