In 2004, Columbia University paid the US Department of Agriculture a fine for violations of the Animal Welfare Act during scientific animal experiments by Dr. Oz. The university did not deny the allegations.
Oz, who resides in New Jersey and is currently running for the US Senate from Pennsylvania, was the “principal investigator” in the laboratories of the Columbia University Institute of Comparative Medicine for years and assumed “full scientific, administrative and fiscal responsibility for the conduct.” his studies. Over the course of 75 studies published in Jezebel-reviewed journals, the Oz team conducted experiments on at least 1,027 live animals, including dogs, pigs, calves, rabbits and small rodents. Thirty-four of those experiments resulted in the deaths of at least 329 dogs, while two of his experiments killed 31 pigs and 38 experiments killed 661 rabbits and rodents.
In the early 2000s, on Oz’s research, a whistleblower and veterinarian named Catherine Dell’Orto detailed the extensive suffering inflicted on his team’s canine test subjects, including multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act, which sets minimum standards for the care of dogs , cats, primates, rabbits and other animals owned by pet dealers and laboratories. The law specifically requires researchers and breeders to use pain-relieving drugs or euthanasia on the animals and not to use paralytics without anesthesia or to experiment multiple times on the same animal.
Months after paying the $2,000 fine in December 2004, Columbia defended Oz amid animal abuse allegations, calling him “a highly respected researcher and clinician” who adhered “to the highest standards of animal care” but failed to denying any of the specific allegations Dell’Orto had made against Oz. On Monday, Jezebel contacted the Columbia Office of Communications and Public Affairs and the Oz Senate campaign. Columbia declined to comment and Oz’s campaign has yet to respond. Notably, the Daily Beast reported in April of this year that the university appeared to have severed all ties with Oz and removed his personal pages from the medical center’s website. Oz has previously held senior positions including vice chair of surgery and director of integrated medicine at the medical center.