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Americans for Medical Progress

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on global corporations.

Americans for Medical Progress (AMP) is an industry-funded organization and front group for the pharmaceutical, animal testing and breeding industries. AMP runs media campaigns targeting animal rights, welfare and health advocacy groups. It is self described as a "national 501(c)(3) (tax-exempt) non-profit supported by medical schools, research institutions." According to its website, AMP provides:

"vital news, information and analysis to research stakeholders to ensure they have the resources they need to deflect campaigns that threaten the future of medical progress." [1]

Overview

AMP's board of directors consists of senior executives and other representatives employed by the pharmaceutical and vivisection industries. They include Charles River, Abbott Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-Aventis and Merck. [2] Charles River Laboratories is the world's largest supplier of laboratory animals. It has been described as the "General Motors of the laboratory animal industry". [3] Board members also represent universities and institutions receiving government grants for vivisection. Many corporations and institutions on AMP's board have amassed a history of gross animal welfare violations in the United States and Europe and been the focus of animal, health, consumer and human rights advocates. See also sections 2 & 4 & SW articles on individual companies.

Animal cruelty & welfare violations

U.S. & European investigations of Huntingdon Life Sciences.

AMP & Charles River

Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN) is a national research watchdog organization. [4] SAEN has included Charles River among the worst violators of U.S. laws. The company amassed 22 violations in one monitoring period, including an incident which left dozens of dogs with bleeding paws. (Government reports and ranking statistics available upon request.) [5] Two senior executives from Charles River, including the company's Corporate Vice President, sit on the board of AMP. See also Charles River.

AMP & Huntingdon Life Sciences

Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) is the 3rd largest contract research organization (CRO) in the world and the largest animal testing facility in all of Europe. Firms hire HLS to conduct animal toxicity tests for agrochemicals, petrochemicals, household products, pharmaceutical drugs and toxins. HLS has a long history of gross animal welfare violations. They are the only laboratory in the United Kingdom ever to have their license revoked by the government. [6] See also Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Corporations which contract test out to HLS include members of AMP's own board of directors; GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Abbott Laboratories, Sanofi-Aventis and Merck. [7] See also animal testing, section 3 on product (toxicity) testing.

Pfizer, Premarin & horse slaughter industry

Premarin is a drug manufactured by Pfizer, another board member of AMP. It is derived from pregnant mares’ urine (PMU), and prescribed for "symptoms of menopause". It has been classified as a "dangerous drug" and the number one most likely to cause disability or other serious outcome. [8] Premarin production involves the extreme abuse of horses and feeds into the horse slaughter industry. See also Premarin.

University funding & animal welfare issues

A 2001 audit for 30 facilities revealed that approximately 56% received over 100 million per year from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for animal research. [9] Three universities represented by AMP board members are listed on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals's (PETA) list of ten worst laboratories according to: worst violations of the Animal Welfare Act; [10] largest numbers of animals killed; most painful and invasive experiments and least willing to make improvements. See also ten worst laboratories on University of Tulane, Harvard University and Oregon Health and Science University (ONPRC).

Other universities on the board which have been the focus of animal and health advocates, include the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Targeting animal & health advocates

AMP & Center for Consumer Freedom

According to AMP, "organizations that embrace animal rights tenets" include: In Defense of Animals, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), Animal Legal Defense Fund and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. [11] According to AMP, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) has "connected the dots" revealing that PETA and PCRM have received funds from a wealthy "animal rights activist." [12]

CCF sponsors have included corporations like Phillip Morris, Monsanto, Tyson Foods and Dean Foods, which have long histories of gross animal welfare violations, human rights, health and environmental abuses. See also Richard Berman cares about animals: clients exposed.

Organizations like AMP and CCF not only represent multi-billion dollar corporations, but industries which are heavily subsidized by tax payers. See also U.S. Government's War on Animals.

Marginalizing animal welfare groups

According to AMP, "one needs to be especially cautious" of "organizations primarily focused on animal welfare", as well. These include American Humane Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). [13]

HSUS, ASPCA & Pfizer

HSUS and the ASPCA have both criticized former board member Wyeth (now merged with AMP board member Pfizer) for its treatment of Premarin horses. [14], [15]

Other controversies involving board

Toxic drug trials on foster children (GSK, Pfizer & Merck)

See also Foster child drug trials.

NAMI

See also NAMI.

Other groups

Speaking of Research

Speaking of Research is a "campus oriented" astroturf group. Founder Tom Holder graduated from Oxford University in 2007, with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Mr. Holder moved to the United States in March of 2008 to found Speaking of Research and "take on animal rights groups". According to its website, it's "grassroots activities" on campuses are aimed at "generating student and faculty support" for animal testing. This project is supported by AMP and and Pro-Test in the United Kingdom. In October of 2008, Mr. Holder returned to the United Kingdom where he continues to assist with both groups. [16], [17]

NAMI

Four companies represented on AMP's board, Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, have been listed as corporate supporters of the patient-advocacy pharmaceutical front group National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which lobbies for positions which are counter to the welfare of the mentally ill. See also NAMI.

Animal Welfare Council

The Animal Welfare Council (AWC) is a front group for abusive horse industries such as rodeos, horse slaughter and Premarin, manufactured by AMP member Pfizer. Members of this lobby include AMP. [18]

The vivisection "debate"

See also animal testing, section 6 on vivisection debate.

Selected board members

  • John D. Young, VMD, MS (Chairman) - Director, Comparative Medicine, Cedars Sinai Medical Center
  • Lynn C. Anderson - DVM - Team Lead, Translational Models, Merck; former VP, Charles River
  • Marilyn J. Brown - DVM, MS - VP, Charles River CHARTER Program
  • Robert D. Gunnels, DVM, MS - Director, Comparative Medicine, Pfizer Global R&D
  • Anne Mueller - Director, Science Policy, North America AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
  • Leticia V. Medina - Manager, Animal Welfare & Compliance, Abbott Laboratories
  • Michael D. Kastello, DVM, PhD, Global Head - Sanofi-Aventis
  • Margaret Landi, VMD, VP, Global LAS - GlaxoSmithKline
  • Jim Newman - Media Team Leader - OHSU, Oregon National Primate Research Center
  • Joseph E. Murray, MD - Professor Emeritus, Harvard University Medical School
  • Andrew A. Lackner, DVM, PhD - Director, Tulane National Primate Research Center (NPRC)
  • David Jentsch, PhD, Assoc. Professor, UCLA, Committee member, Speaking of Research[19]

Contact

Americans for Medical Progress
526 King Street
Suite 201
Alexandria, VA 22314

Tel: 703-836-9595

Fax: 703-836-9594

Web address: http://www.amprogress.org/

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Home, Americans for Medical Progress, accessed May 2009
  2. Board of Directors, AMP, accessed August 2011
  3. C. Roland Christensen, Business Policy: Text and Cases, January 1982 p. 54, ISBN 9780256014518
  4. Description of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, Wiserearth, accessed November 20, 2008
  5. Micheal Budkie Pharmaceutical/Testing Companies Among Nation’s Leaders for Federal Violations, Says Watchdog Group, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, February 2007
  6. Dr. Jerry Vlasik Testimony of Jerry Vlasik, M.D.: Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (“SHAC”) Eco-terrorism, U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, October 2005
  7. Inside Customers, SHAC.net, January 2011
  8. Premarin, Injury Board, Sept 2007
  9. Micheal A. Budkie The Animal Experimentation Scandal: An Audit of the NIH: Funding of Animal Experimentation: Audit Findings, SAEN, 2001
  10. Animal Welfare Act and Regulations, U.S. Department of Agriculture, November 2010
  11. Animal Rights is not Animal Welfare, AMP, accessed June 2009
  12. Animal Activists News: PETA and PCRM Find a Sugar Momma, AMP, accessed February 2009
  13. Animal Rights is not Animal Welfare, AMP, accessed June 2009
  14. HSUS Demands Wyeth Laboratories Take Responsibility for Premarin Horses, Humane Society of the United States, October 2003
  15. Premarin, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, accessed January 2011
  16. "Founder Biography", Speaking of Research, accessed February 2010
  17. Micheal D. Hare Fellowship in Public Outreach, AMP, accessed February 2010
  18. AWC Members, Animal Welfare Council, accessed January 2009
  19. Board of Directors, AMP, accessed August 2011