EU 'shocked' by German carmakers' monkey experiments

Agence France Presse

Posted at Jan 30 2018 09:45 PM

BRUSSELS - The EU said on Tuesday it was "shocked" by revelations that German automakers helped finance experiments that exposed humans and monkeys to diesel fumes.

Brussels said the test were "unethical and unacceptable" and urged Germany to investigate them, the latest scandal to hit its car manufacturers.

"We are shocked by the news as everybody else. We take note of the German authorities aim to investigate the matter and we hope that they will," European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a daily briefing.

Industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, who is leading the EU's response to the Volkswagen "Dieselgate" emissions testing scandal, made a similar call for action.

"Testing diesel emissions on humans and monkeys is unethical and unacceptable for any European company in 21st century," Bienkowska said on Twitter.

"Again: just the fault of a few individuals, or rather a systemic problem of company culture? Time to invest in zero emissions. #cleanairnow".

On Monday the Sueddeutsche and Stuttgarter Zeitung dailies reported that a research group funded by Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW had ordered a study in Germany measuring the effects of inhaling nitrogen oxide gases on 25 healthy human beings.

The revelation came just days after the New York Times wrote that the same organisation locked 10 monkeys into airtight chambers and made them breathe in diesel exhausts from a VW Beetle while watching cartoons in 2014.

Germany's Chancellor has strongly condemned the controversy, which follows VW's admission in 2015 that it had manipulated 11 million diesel cars worldwide, equipping them with cheating software to make them seem less polluting than they were.