Report Takes Aim
at Hollywood's 'Bleeding Hearts'

by Mark Egan
Copyright 1998 Reuters
March 31, 1998

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A report by a Washington-based medical research group has called Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger and other Hollywood stars hypocrites for their outspoked opposition to medical research on animals.

The report, ``Bleeding Hearts, Broken Promises,'' published this week by the Foundation for Biomedical Research, also takes aim at Basinger's husband Alec Baldwin, comedienne Sandra Bernhard, actress Jennie Garth and talk-show host Bill Maher.

The report points out that just as making omelets means breaking eggs, medical cures often require experimentation on animals.

Animal testing has led to medical advances on organ transplants, heart bypass surgery and chemotherapy, the report said, adding that it also has furthered treatment of AIDS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Basinger and Baldwin are particularly castigated for their support of the animal rights activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals while also raising funds for breast cancer research.

``If you are campaigning to raise more money for breast cancer research and then you say you completely oppose animal research, you can't have it both ways,'' Frankie Trull, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR), said Tuesday in an interview.

Baldwin and Basinger, who won an Academy Award as best supporting actress for her role in ``L.A. Confidential,'' declined to comment on the report. FBR is a Washington-based nonprofit group set up to educate the public about the connection between humane animal research and improving the quality of life of people.

``Alec Baldwin is being hypocritical,'' Trull said. ``His mother is a breast cancer survivor and she went through treatments that were (developed) as a result ... of humane and responsible animal research, and with all due respect to Mr. Baldwin I don't think he has a scientific background.''

Trull said the effect of Hollywood's campaign has been to taint the way young people view animal testing. She said that while most older people are in favor of humane animal testing only about half of those aged 25 or under approve.

``(Basinger) is misleading a younger generation,'' Trull said. ``Biomedical research goes on becausehe public supports it. So if we lose the next generation's support because they have been given misinformation, the potential impact on the nation's health and well-being could be placed in jeopardy.''

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