Now that it has been revealed German carmakers BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler had an organization test the effects of diesel fumes on monkeys, and in a separate test nitrogen dioxide on humans, Germany’s politicians and media are all falling over themselves feigning outrage and moral indignation.
Of course the media did not hesitate to make the tests on humans appear as if they were an extension of those done on monkeys when one in fact had absolutely nothing to do with the other. Today German politicians and activists seemingly are now trying to whip up mass hysteria in order to scandalize the country’s backbone industry into extinction.
German environment minister Barbara Hendricks called the tests “abominable”. Lower Saxony prime minister Stephan Weil condemned the tests as “absurd and disgusting”. Angela Merkel’s spokesman said the tests couldn’t be justified ethically and that the outrage “is completely understandable.”
Yet, when one looks closer at what really happened, much of the outrage is not understandable.
Approved by an ethics commission
As morally questionable as the tests on the ten monkeys might be, one has to ask if the mass hysteria unleashed among the German media is warranted. Using animals in scientific research is nothing new and is happening (legally) as I write.
As far as the tests on humans in Aachen, Germany are concerned, just how death-camp like were they? It turns out not at all. In fact they were even approved by an official Ethics Commission beforehand.
According to reports, the tests were done by the European Research Association for Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT) association, which was set up by the German carmakers. The studies were conducted in 2013 and were not at all related to “dieselgate”.
In the study involving human subjects, the subjects were not even exposed to diesel exhaust, but rather to nitrogen dioxide. A video of an interview with the head of the study, Prof. Dr. Thomas Kraus, has been released and what follow below are the main points:
1. The objective of the study was to determine whether there exists a hazard from nitrogen dioxide levels at the workplace and to determine what would be an acceptably safe level over a 40-year employment time.
2. In the test researchers subjected 25 healthy volunteers to a nitrogen dioxide level of different concentrations for several hours at an institute at the University Hospital in Aachen. This was done to see if any biological effects would occur.
3. The tests used the most modern equipment and measurement systems where participants were subjected to moderately elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide.
4. The study had nothing to do with the current diesel exhaust scandal.
5. The tests have nothing to do with diesel exhaust and only nitrogen dioxide was used.
6. The researchers said they were not able to detect any “acute health effects” in the subjects.
7. Before the test was carried out, the Ethics Commission first thoroughly checked it over to see if it was ethical. The Commission gave the study the green light.
8. Everything was done, legally, ethically and safely.
1 single pack of cigarettes probably more dangerous
In other words, inhaling the by-products produced from smoking a pack of cigarettes, or even from tending to the charcoal grill for an hour at the Sunday barbecue, are likely far worse.
The Aachen human tests are a fake scandal, and just the latest incident of the German media’s obsession to scandalize anything and everything that moves and doesn’t move.
This reminds us of the spoof petition to ban “dihydrogen-monoxide” (H2O, or water for those living in California or Tübingen). Chemically “dihydrogen-monoxide” sounds evil and dangerous, and so within minutes dozens of students at university campuses were signing the petition to ban the compound– because they were too stupid to recognize what it really was.
The same is true with the nitrogen dioxide test in Aachen and the German media and politicians.
Unfortunately the German auto industry is just too spineless to fight back. Maybe they are well aware that America is now open for business, and that Germany is a lost cause and so not worth the fight.