A group of German scientists funded by German carmakers exposed humans to toxic fumes in experiments, German newspapers Stuttgarter Zeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday. This shocking revelation followed earlier reports that the same group had first tested monkeys. The experiment took place “sometime between 2012 and 2015.”
And if your need for fresh irony on a historical scale has not yet been satiated by this revelation, the reports name the carmakers responsible for this atrocity performed by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT) as being Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes Benz.
The German scientists tested “short-term nitrogen dioxide inhalation by healthy people,” following which a hospital in Aachen university examined the 25 subjects after they had inhaled varying amounts of the gas over several hours.
On Friday, the NY Times caused ripples of shock in Germany with a report on EUGT’s sponsoring an experiment that was conducted by the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) in New Mexico, in which 10 monkeys in airtight chambers inhaled fumes from a diesel VW Beetle while watching cartoons.
According to the Times, the aim of the experiments was to counter a 2012 decision by the World Health Organization to classify diesel exhaust as a carcinogen.
Volkswagen issued a statement in response to the report on how it gassed monkeys, saying, “we are convinced that the scientific methods chosen at the time were wrong.”
What gave it away?
German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said on Monday that she was “horrified,” and that “what is known so far is disgusting.”
She added that “the fact that an entire industry has apparently tried to conceal brazen and dubious methods of scientific research makes it even more monstrous,” insisting that the auto industry and the scientific community must explain their role.
Naturally, one explanation for this terrifying experiment by German scientists could be that they are, well, German scientists. According to Deutsche Welle, no experiments on animals or humans can take place in Germany without permission from an authorized ethics committee, in this case the ethics committee of the Aachen University Hospital, which allowed for the tests on Humans to be carried out by an occupational physician, Herr Professor Thomas Kraus, a hospital employee.