We criticise EU’s one-sided monkey panel
European Ombudsman investigates our complaint over experts selected for EU monkey report
Our complaint about the expert panel selected by the European Commission to look into the need for monkey experiments is being investigated by the Ombudsman.
The panel did not include any specific experts in replacements for tests on monkeys or animal ethics, even though the Commission say they were invited. In internal documents the Commission insisted that experts in the group must already be working with monkeys. Unsurprisingly this produced a panel that thinks experimenting on monkeys is still needed and led to a biased and flawed report.
The Ombudsman has now written to the Commission asking them to explain their selection, and why such a one-sided panel was picked .
Dr Katy Taylor, Director of Science and Regulatory Affairs at Cruelty Free International, said: “Sadly, it does not seem that the Commission has taken previous Ombudsman recommendations on-board in putting together the report, despite our reminder to do so when we submitted our comments. In 2009, the Ombudsman found that ‘the necessary excellence, independence, impartiality and transparency had not been demonstrated’ by the Commission and it is extremely disappointing that such a lack of transparency and impartiality has again been displayed”.
If the Ombudsman agrees that the selection of experts was flawed, we are calling on the Commission to redo its report so that it is more balanced and fair. The Commission has until 30th June 2018 to reply to the Ombudsman. The report has already been used to inform the review of the EU Directive that covers the policy on animal experiments in Europe.