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Charles River Under DOJ Investigation Over Role In Primate Smuggling Scandal
Drug research firm has halted sales of monkeys valued at roughly $20 million.
February 22, 2023
One day after Charles River Laboratories (CRL), a non-clinical contract research organization, was notified it’s under DOJ investigation for its role in a Cambodian non-human primate (NHP) smuggling scandal, the company received a grand jury subpoena on February 17, 2023.
Recently, federal prosecutors have charged various people, including two Cambodian government officials, with conspiring to illegally import wild NHPs— only NHPs purpose bred for research are allowed.
In its latest annual report, Charles River downplayed the scrutiny:
“...the concerns raised with respect to the Company’s conduct are without merit. The Company maintains a global supplier onboarding and oversight program incorporating risk-based due diligence, auditing, and monitoring practices to help ensure the quality of our supplier relationships and compliance with applicable U.S. and international laws and regulations, and has operated under the belief that all shipments of non-human primates it received satisfied the material requirements, documentation and related processes and procedures…”
While the investigation is ongoing, Charles River has suspended NHP sales and agreed to care for the Cambodia-sourced NHPs from certain recent shipments that are now in the United States.
The monkeys in question are valued at approximately $20 million.
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