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Hopkins Official Responds To Animal Story

I hope that the article "Search for Animal Alternatives Faces Rough Road" by Tom Watkins (The Scientist, December 15, 1986, p. 6) does not portend that The Scientist will face a rough road through inaccurate reporting. In the article, Watkins states that I refused to respond to comments by Earle Brauer of Revlon. In fact, I gave Watkins a rather extended telephone interview. He called me back several weeks later with a series of questions, saying "Person A said this and person B said that, what

By | January 26, 1987

I hope that the article "Search for Animal Alternatives Faces Rough Road" by Tom Watkins (The Scientist, December 15, 1986, p. 6) does not portend that The Scientist will face a rough road through inaccurate reporting.

In the article, Watkins states that I refused to respond to comments by Earle Brauer of Revlon. In fact, I gave Watkins a rather extended telephone interview. He called me back several weeks later with a series of questions, saying "Person A said this and person B said that, what do you think about that?" Wonderful tactics for journalism, to which The Scientist pretends.

The article states that "Revlon plans to make reduced contributions to the Johns Hopkins center, according to Earle Brauer." Revlon has not yet provided support to the work of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CATT), but to the Rockefeller group. It is most difficult to reduce a contribution when there was none to begin with.

Is it reasonable for a newspaper for the scientific community to state conclusions from unpublished results of studies? "There has been progress. Results from an unpublished validation. . . indicate that some of the in vitro tests are able..." I truly hope that the quality of the reporting in this article is not typical of the rest of the publication.

For the record, CATT was established in 1981 by a grant from the Cosmetic, Toiletries and Fragrance Association. Since that time, CATT has received long-term support for its research program from Bristol Meyers Co., Amoco Corp., Exxon Corp., and Abbott Laboratories. In addition to the major support by these companies, CATT has been funded for specific major projects by Bausch & Lomb and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and has received support for symposium programs or partial support of research programs from more than 45 different companies.

The Center funds research, after extensive peer review, for the development of in vitro methodology that can be used for the assessment of toxicity. By providing small grants to ongoing research projects, CATT has been able to highly leverage its limited funds. In addition, many grantees have been able to obtain preliminary data on CATT grants and, thus, obtain federally funded research support.

—Alan M. Goldberg
Director, Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing
Johns Hopkins University
615 N. Wolfe St.,
Baltimore,MD 21205-2179

Editor's note: Reporter Thomas Watkins, following standard journalistic practice, sought to balance comments critical of the Hopkins Center by giving Hopkins' Goldberg an opportunity to reply to them. Watkins then reported that Goldberg "declined to respond to Brauer's criticism," which Goldberg here acknowledges. The "reduced contributions" referred to Revlon's plans to give less money, through the Cosmetic, Toiletries and Fragrance Association, to the search for alternatives to animal testing than it had previously given to researchers at The Rockefeller University.

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