German Carmakers Funded Tests of Diesel Fumes on Monkeys and Humans

Volkswagen alleged to have rigged experiment with monkeys to show safe level of emissions

The research organization received its funding from German carmakers Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW.

In 2014, the research body also commissioned a USA lab to conduct experiments on monkeys to study whether nitrogen oxides in diesel exhausts are harmful to them.

Revelations of diesel exhaust tests on humans touched off a political firestorm in Germany, as several politicians rushed to condemn the tests.

German auto makers have been scrambling to put distance between themselves and a European research group after reports in the New York Times late last week that said the manufacturers had sponsored an experiment that exposed monkeys to diesel fumes to prove they were safe.

In a world where social justice extends beyond human rights and into the animal realm, disturbing documentation has detailed how VW commissioned diesel emission testing - on monkeys.

German carmakers have promised to swiftly investigate experiments that exposed people and monkeys to diesel fumes, disclosures that threaten to open a new phase in an emissions controversy that's dogged the industry since 2015.

The Netflix documentary went on to reveal, that after Volkswagen supplied the diesel Beetle for use in the study, it demanded real time access to the results. A number of European cities, including Paris, are considering outright bans on the technology, despite efforts to say diesels can meet the latest emissions standards with new control systems.

The company distanced itself from EUGT by saying that their approach contradicted their values and ethical principles.

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Amal Johal, director of consumer action and group litigation specialists Your Lawyers, said: "How does a global corporation think it can continue to get away with another act of fraud?"

The human trial had 25 people breathe in diesel exhaust at a clinic used by the University of Aachen, Stuttgarter Zeitung reported Monday, citing annual reports from the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector, or EUGT, which closed previous year.

It reported they were given varying doses over a period of hours at an institute belonging to Aachen University in 2012, with a summary of the report showing no ill effects. The test, which was confirmed by Aachen University's research hospital, the site of the test, was allegedly to do with workplace safety and not related to the automotive industry.

One member of VW staff involved in the study was said to be James Liang, the company's head of diesel competence in the US.

Germany's federal government said on Monday the tests were "in no way ethically justifiable".

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said that "the disgust many people are feeling is absolutely understandable".

He questioned the aims of the tests. Seibert added that it was the job of auto makers to reduce emissions produced by their vehicles, rather than attempting to prove that nitrogen oxide was not harmful. "They should not be trying to prove the supposed harmlessness of exhaust with the help of monkeys or even humans".

The tests haven't had any negative consequences for the health of either the animals or the humans, but the news has caused public outcry, with many people arguing that those responsible for the initiative must be punished.

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