Complaint related to research misconduct, animal abuse filed against the University of North Dakota

(University of North Dakota)
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 7:32 PM CDT
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A national watchdog group has filed a Federal Research Misconduct complaint against University of North Dakota staff regarding a federally funded article in the Journal of Neurochemistry which has been retracted because it presents false “image manipulation.”

SAEN, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, is a national watchdog nonprofit that investigates animal abuse and illegal activities at U.S. research facilities. The group is alleging the manipulation of images which represent experimental data is Research Misconduct because the image (data) manipulation equates with falsification of the data. Falsification of data fits the legal meaning of Research Misconduct, as defined by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), SAEN said. ORI’s definition of falsification includes:  “manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record”

They say the authors of the journal article were unable to provide the original data when asked by the publisher to clarify the issues with the images.

SAEN has contacted the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research integrity, calling for a full investigation.  The complaint which includes the relevant retraction notice is available here.

The retracted article also reveals animals used in the experiment suffered severely, admitting,  “Cholesterol-treated animals and their matched controls were killed 7 months later upon the appearance of severe hypercholesteremic side-effects that included weight and appetite loss and jaundice.”

Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., SAEN co-founder, says: “The rabbits who exhibited appetite loss, weight loss, and jaundice were clearly very ill, and suffered unrelieved pain. Enduring such agony in support of fraudulent experimentation is somehow even more heinous.”

The University of North Dakota responded with the following statement:

UND is aware of the allegations of research misconduct levied against a former faculty member. The matter is currently under review by the University and we have been coordinating with the appropriate federal offices and agencies.