In a statement on its website, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) announced that it has suspended the support it had provided to the New York Blood Center (NYBC) following a petition drive that had already cost NYBC support from MetLife and Citigroup.
According to Care2.org, an online petition site, the petition was generated to protest the abandonment of 66 research chimpanzees that NYBC moved to islands off the coasts of Liberia — where the research work is conducted — and Ivory Coast. NYBC cut off funding for long-term care of the chimps in 2015 “leaving them to die of starvation and thirst.” The last experiments were conducted 12 years ago.
Donny Moss, who wrote the Care2 petition, said:
We are grateful IBM has joined MetLife and Citigroup in taking a principled stand against the New York Blood Center. Corporations don’t normally speak out publicly against other organizations with which they partner, but, as global corporate citizens, IBM could not turn a blind eye to the blood center’s egregious decision to abandon 66 chimpanzees on deserted islands with no food or water after experimenting on them for 30 years and earning hundreds of millions of dollars off of their research.
In IBM’s statement dated simply “May 2017,” the company said:
Our company strongly urges the NYBC to work with the government of Liberia, Humane Society of the United States, and other charitable organizations to find a sustainable, long-term solution to ensure the health and well-being of the chimpanzees. While IBM does not provide monetary donations to the NYBC or any donated space for collection, IBM has suspended its support of NYBC blood drives in New York while the NYBC works with all deliberate speed to implement a long-term solution to this issue.
Care2 gathered 164,000 signatures on the petition.