Mehmet Oz’s medical research record is under new scrutiny in an already controversial Pennsylvania Senate contest, prompting the Republican candidate’s campaign to vehemently deny Democrat Jon Fetterman’s allegations that he abused animals.
The controversy stems from Oz’s time as a “principal investigator” at Columbia University’s Institute for Comparative Medicine, where Oz’s research involved the use of dogs, pigs, calves, rabbits and ferrets, according to public reports and documents reviewed by CNN. Columbia’s website states that the principal investigator “has full responsibility for safety and compliance in his lab,” although it noted that many lab responsibilities can be delegated to a “competent (designated) person.”
Location Jezebel A report published this week claims that between 1989 and 2010, more than 300 dogs were killed in the process of this research, according to the site’s review of published Oz studies. Additionally, Columbia University paid a $2,000 fine to the US Department of Agriculture for violations of the Animal Welfare Act in 2004 after the university investigated animal research practices, including research by Oz.
In its 2020 guidance on euthanasia of animals, the American Veterinary Medical Association acknowledged that killing healthy animals, including in conjunction with biomedical research, is “disturbing and ethically challenging,” but it is also a “practical necessity.”
“The AVMA recognizes that such measures are acceptable if those who carry out euthanasia adhere to strict policies, guidelines, and regulations,” she says.
Animal rights groups have long opposed these killings.
In 2004, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claimed Oz was “responsible for the extreme suffering endured by the dogs used in his heart experiments,” citing testimony and documents from informants from an internal Columbia University investigation.
Now, Oz finds himself under attack from Fetterman, the deputy governor of Pennsylvania, for his research practices, causing his campaign to be repelled.
“Dr. Oz did not abuse any animals, and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous,” said Brittany Yannick, a spokeswoman for the Oz campaign, calling the claim “utterly false and unreasonable” and blaming the Fetterman campaign for pushing the story to “every reporter under the sun.” To distract voters from really important issues.”
Yannick added, “Dr. Oz was not in the operating room when the operations were performed, he was not present during post-operative treatments, and no one alerted him of the problem until after the cases were over and he did not condone the abuse of animals,” Yannick said.
However, the allegations have introduced a new line of attack in one of the country’s most watched Senate races, the rivalry between Oz and Fetterman that presents the Democrats’ best chance for a seat on the evenly divided body. A CNN poll of opinion polls showed a tight competition in the Commonwealth with Fetterman garnering the support of 50% of potential voters compared to 45% of those supporting Oz.
The deputy governor responded to the report on Twitter on Wednesday, with Dr. Oz kills puppies. This is the tweet “and sarcastically responding to Oz’s tweet from May where the Republican sided with a dog by asking, ‘Has anyone seen that dog since May? ”
Dr. Fetterman wrote shortly after the publication of the Jezebel story.
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