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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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Volkswagen tested diesel exhaust on monkeys, probe launched

Experiments on monkeys

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FRANKFURT, Germany - In a shocking expose that emerged this week, a report revealed that Volkswagen’s diesel exhaust tests involved monkeys.

According to the report, a research group funded by auto companies exposed monkeys to diesel exhaust from a late-model Volkswagen.

It added that another group was exposed to fumes from an older Ford pickup.

The experiments on monkeys were reportedly carried out in 2014 in New Mexico before Volkswagen was caught using software that let vehicles cheat on vehicle emissions.

The report stated that the tests were intended to show modern diesel technology had solved the problem of excess emissions.

It further added that Volkswagen and other German carmakers used the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector, known as EUGT, to conduct the research.

Following the report, another one appeared in Stuttgarter Zeitung, which revealed that the now-closed research group also experimented on humans. 

According to this report, about 25 healthy people inhaled nitrogen dioxide in varying amounts at an institute run by Aachen University in southern Germany.

The report revealed that the 2015 study on human subjects stated that the "protocol" involved was approved by the "Ethics Committee of the Medical Faculty of RWTH Aachen University.” 

It added that each subject gave "informed written consent" before taking part in the trials.

EUGT was reportedly funded entirely by Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW, however, it remains unclear whether any of those manufacturers was aware of the studies using monkeys and humans.

After the report was released, a German government official said that any auto emissions testing on monkeys or people was unjustifiable.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement, “These tests on monkeys or even people are in no ethical way justifiable and raise many critical questions about those who are behind the tests.”

The Volkswagen chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch subsequently issued a statement saying that diesel exhaust tests involving monkeys were "totally incomprehensible" and that the matter must be "investigated fully and unconditionally."

Volkswagen too issued a statement saying, "We believe that the scientific methods used to conduct the study were wrong and that it would have been better not to undertake it at all. The Volkswagen Group explicitly distances itself from all forms of animal cruelty. Animal testing is completely inconsistent with our corporate standards. We apologize for the inappropriate behavior that occurred and for the poor judgment of individuals who were involved."

 

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