A simmering shortage of lab monkeys for scientific and medical research in the United States has come to a boil: Prices for lab monkeys, which are overwhelmingly imported, are 15 times what they were pre-COVID, according to the Nikkei news service from Japan.
There are several factors at play: COVID-19 saw a huge demand for lab monkeys testing out vaccines and therapies. China has stopped exporting lab monkeys. And in Cambodia, the largest source of non-human primates, a smuggling scandal alleged to involve the trafficking of primates from the wild, has made U.S. companies hesitant to import from there.
Here & Now's Scott Tong speaks with Carolyn Johnson, science reporter at The Washington Post.
This segment aired on June 9, 2023.