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(en) US, Phoenix, Upheaval* #2 - Biodesign Institute Unveiled by Jonathan Grindell

Date Wed, 18 Jan 2006 14:03:18 +0200


In the last couple of years, Arizona
State University (ASU) has been
grooming their Biodesign Institute
as a center for educating young sci-
entists in cutting-edge technolo-
gies. This way they inform the
public, in hopes of garnering sup-
port.
However, the intentions of this
newly fomented "research depart-
ment" should be exposed for its
inherently torturous, scandalous
practices -- such as implanting elec-
trodes into the brains of non-
human animals, which will soon
include dogs. The experiments are
not directly being used to find
cures for cancer, AIDS, or any
other devastating human disease.
The university is merely "going
through the motions" in order to
rake in revenue for private cor-
porations.
One begins to realize the
Institute's true intentions when
partnerships with pharmaceuti-
cal giants, such as Pfizer and
Dow AgroSciences, are discov-
ered. Dow Agrosciences is a
subsidiary of Dow Chemical,
the company that cleared
Union Carbide (UC) of any
wrongdoing in their role in
the Bhopal disaster, possibly
the single worst industrial disaster
in the history of the world. In 1984,
UC accidentally released chemicals
from a pesticide plant in Bhopal,
India; the resulting environmental
disaster promptly killed 3,000 peo-
ple. Since the tragedy, another
15,000 have died from injuries
directly resulting from long-term
effects of the leak.
In 2001, Dow purchased Union
Carbide for $10.3 billion in stock
and debt. Since then, Dow has pub-
licly stated several times that these
UC settlement payments have
released Dow from any further
responsibility for the disaster. But
many citizens of Bhopal and the
rest of the world beg to differ, as
very little of this money went to
those who needed it most: the sur-
vivors of the disaster and their sur-
rounding
commu-
nity.
Dow is also well-known for pro-
ducing the napalm used to bomb
civilians during the Vietnam War.
Today, Dow is working with ASU
in the production of genetically
modified vegetable crops.
As for the scientific contributions
of Pfizer: former Senior Research
Fellow David Salsburg found that
Pfizer's lifetime feeding study on
mice and rats appears to have had
less than a 50% probability of find-
ing known human carcinogens. On
the basis of probability, Salsburg
writes, "We would have been better
off to toss a coin."
Another sponsor of the
Biodesign Institute is Covance.
This contract research organiza-
tion was recently exposed by an
undercover technician to be run-
ning a most horrific testing ground
for animals, where monkeys were
being slammed into cages, choked,
struck at, and on several occa-
sions left for dead. Covance has
recently bought land from the
city of Chandler to expand its
research locally. For more
information, and video footage
from inside the lab, visit:
<www.covancecruelty.com>.
The so-called mastermind of the
ASU Biodesign Institute is current
ASU President Michael M. Crow.
Crow is experienced in turning
public institutions into profit
entities. He has already allowed
himself to be bought out by
influential forces, such as the
Church of Latter-Day Saints, on
numerous occasions. Ira A.
Fulton has contributed millions
of dollars to the school, and has
threatened to cut all ties if he does-
n't get his way. Fulton has been
especially opposed to articles about
body modification in the student-
run State Press newspaper, and has
demanded that such articles be
pulled. Despite the State Press
being independent of ASU, Crow
gave its staff an ultimatum: pull the article or face expulsion and/or the
end of the State Press -- a demand which the students felt forced to
oblige.
Crow's resume includes a stint as Executive Vice Provost at Columbia
University. According to the ASU website, Crow oversaw Columbia's
technology and innovations transfer operations, a strategic initiative
program, and an interdisciplinary program department. He must have
seen the blatant cruelty to animals in Columbia's labs -- a portion of
which was reported by postdoctoral veterinary fellow Dr. Catherine
Dell'Orto, who attended the university during Crow's tenure. As a
result of Dell'Orto's report, Columbia has been heavily scrutinized for
their treatment of animals, and has lost many donors; the discoveries
even prompted songwriter Nellie McKay to write a song about the sub-
ject, "Columbia is Bleeding." The website
<www.columbiacruelty.com> details the torments Columbia has inflict-
ed on animals.
Following his departure from Columbia, Crow went on to work for
In-Q-Tel Inc., the nonprofit venture-capital arm of the Central
Intelligence Agency. On its website, (<www.in-q-tel.com>), In-Q-Tel
states its mission to provide the CIA with leading-edge technologies, of
which very little is known. Crow has been able to garner a great deal of
revenue for the university by engaging in this dubious type of research.
Over the next fiscal year, ASU officials plan to use $107 million in
educational sales tax revenue to expand the scope of the Biodesign
Institute. The government also provides ASU with financial backing in
the form of large grants, ASU's reward for letting large corporations
host animal-research programs on their campus.
As members of this community, it is absolutely appalling for us to
support such endeavors. In the past, ASU has operated such "research
programs" with reckless abandon. ASU is currently working with the
University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson and the Arizona Board of
Regents to create a more expansive research program with the UA
Medical School. It should never be forgotten that experiments at UA
have violated cruelty-to-animal statutes, and public tax money has been
used to pay for repeated animal surgeries that force animals to suffer
severe pain and die prematurely.
The Biodesign Institute seems more like a creation from a horror
film than a public place of higher learning; yet it continues to absorb
money and space at our state universities. Many readers of this newspa-
per may already be supporting this facility in some way, either as stu-
dents or staff at ASU, or as residents, visitors, or economic contributors
to the city of Tempe.
For coverage on recent protests against experiments at ASU's
Biodesign Institute, see the following articles on the web:
"Protesters object to animal testing at ASU":
<www.asuwebdevil.com/issues/2005/04/29/news/693160>
"Animal rights activists take aim at ASU lab":
<www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=40393>
====================================
* Journal of the Phoenix Anarchist Coalition

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