We have been overwhelmed by the response to the first experiment we have exposed via the microsite. Within a few hours, more than 600 people emailed the British Heart Foundation (BHF), objecting to its financial support for the research.
The BHF has responded to some of the people who have taken action by claiming that it did not fund the experiment in question. However, for the reasons below, we believe it is accurate to say the organisation clearly provided financial support (the term we use on the site and in our press release):
1. The published scientific paper describing the sheep experiment states that the work was supported by the BHF. Below is a screen clipping from the paper (Statin treatment depresses the fetal defence to acute hypoxia via increasing nitric oxide bioavailability, The Journal of Physiology, 2012):
2. The BHF has provided a £1,165,872 Programme Grant renewal to Professor Dino A. Giussani – who heads the research programme of which the experiment was part. This is indicated on the BHF’s record of research grant awards given between 1 April 2011 – 31 March 2012: http://www.bhf.org.uk/pdf/BHF%20Grant%20Awards%202011-12-V3.pdf
3. The BHF acknowledges its financial support for the laboratory in which the experiment was carried out: http://www.express.co.uk/news/health/453370/Charity-blasted-for-repugnant-animal-research
In addition to its financial support for this study, the BHF has directly funded at least one other animal study that involves Professor Dino A. Giussani.[i] This is, like the sheep experiment, concerned with foetal injury caused by lack of oxygen. The paper contains the words ‘This study was funded by the British Heart Foundation and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).’
[i] Vitamin C Prevents Intrauterine Programming of in Vivo Cardiovascular Dysfunction in the Rat, Circulation Journal- Official Journal of the Japanese Circulation Society, 2013