The state of Georgia wanted to turn an arsenic-poisoned waste site into a little league baseball field so they commissioned the University of Florida to conduct bioavailability studies. Always eager to profit from animal suffering, UF dispatched Raymond J. Bergeron and Stephen Robertsto conduct the torture sessions in which they forcefed monkeys arsenic-poisioned mud. In turn, the state of Georgia was provided with the results they had hoped for which allowed them to go forward with their project. So, now, little Johnny is eating arsenic-laced dirt every time he slides into home plate, compliments of UF.
This abstract published in 2002 explains that Bergeron & Roberts, et al wanted to assess the dangers that toxic dirt might pose for humans. In order to properly poison five Capuchins, they collected arsenic-contaminated soil from five sites in Florida: an electrical substation, a wood preservative treatment site, two pesticide sites, and a cattle-dip vat site. The corresponding documents obtained from UF elucidate the monkeys’ harrowing ordeal.
Vet records indicate that the five monkeys were sedated and extracted from their cages in the usual manner. The false back would have been used to squeeze each terrified prisoner up against the front of his cell and two gloved attackers would have subdued their struggling victim so that he could be “knocked down” with Ketamine. Each was then put in a box cage that is about the size of a kitchen stove. Records indicate that their urine, feces, and blood were collected for analysis.
A source inside UF explains what the vet records and IACUC protocols reveal:
On “drug day,” all of the monkeys were sedated and blood was drawn again for baseline analysis. These cages also have false rears and the monkeys were again squeezed stressfully to the front for sedation. All of the monkeys were sedated. The effects wear off within 15-20 minutes, so the tech would have had to work quickly. One of the monkeys was given a non-toxic level of sodium arsenate solution via IV injection. Another was forcefed dirt with arsenic. Forcefeeding (euphemistically termed “oral gavage”) consists of an infant oral feeding tube attached to a syringe. The tube is passed down the throat and when it is in the stomach, the syringe is depressed, injecting the mud into the stomach. The injected dirt had a known amount of arsenic in it. In the same way, water with the same amount of arsenic was forcefed to the third monkey. A fourth monkey was forcefed mud as well, but without any arsenic in it. The fifth monkey was given only water. The monkeys were then returned to their cages to recover.
Records indicate that the dirt-fed monkeys vomited frequently when coming out of sedation. This would have ruined the study and it would, therefore, have had to be repeated. This happened so often that eventually the calculated amount of arsenic given was adjusted based upon how much was actually kept down, rather than the total amount originally dosed. An anti-emetic was also injected to keep the monkeys from being nauseous (a normal side effect of the sedation drugs – even without a belly full of toxic mud).
At the end of the study, the animals were sedated a final time and returned to their metal cages. Vet records indicate that they continued to be subjected to Bergeron’s iron chelation torture experiments.
Previously released records: