The Jackson Laboratory

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The Jackson Laboratory is a global animal testing and laboratory animal breeding company. It was founded in 1929 as a non-profit research organization and is headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine. Much of the company's research is focused on genetics, in particularly the genetics of mice. Other areas of research include cancer, immunology, and metabolic diseases. The company breeds and maintains colonies of transgenic (genetically engineered) mice and supplies them under the brand name JAX® to other laboratories around the globe. The Jackson Laboratory also offers offers educational internships, workshops, and predoctoral programs.

In the fiscal year ending in May of 2008, had a net revenue of 166 million dollars and had 1,300 employees.[1]

Global animal breeding & shipping

In the fiscal year 2009, the company sold approximately 2.7 million JAX® mice. The mice were shipped to approximately 19,000 investigators in over 900 institutions in at least 50 countries. The company sells over 4,500 varieties which are available as breeding mice, frozen embryos or DNA samples. The company offers a portfolio of over 1,800 targeted and 900 transgenic mutant mouse lines for various diseases with over 400 new lines are imported annually.[2]

Transgenic mice

The creation of transgenic animals, like the JAX® Mice, is responsible for an explosion in numbers of animals used in U.S. laboratories. Genes are inserted into the mice in an attempt to make them more like humans.

Inefficacy & criticism of animal "models"

Transgenic mice have in fact been remarkably ineffective as models for human diseases. Mice do not normally contract many of the diseases that they are used as models for. They also respond differently to diseases and treatments. More relevant non-animal methods include genome-wide analysis, which uses human DNA. [3]

Thousands of rats, mice, rabbits, dogs, and primates are killed in "pre-clinical" tests for new drugs (including all ingredients and even minor differences in formulas). Following an extensive battery of animal testing, drugs generally undergo three phases of clinical trials. The fact that months or years of human studies are also required suggests health authorities do not trust the results.[4] In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that 92 out of every 100 drugs that successfully pass animal trials subsequently fail human trials. [5], [6] See also animal testing, sections 1 through 3.

Cancer & animal testing

The Jackson Laboratory was founded in 1929 as a cancer research facility. It was designated as a Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1983 to conduct research. [7]

More is spent on cancer than any other medical problem. There are more people living off of cancer than cancer sufferers. Millions of laboratory animals, including rats, mice, monkeys, guinea pigs, cats and dogs have been injected with cancerous material or implanted with malignancies.[8], [9] Why hasn't progress been commensurate with the effort and money invested? One explanation is the unwarranted preoccupation with animal testing. Crucial genetic, molecular, immunologic and cellular differences have disqualify animal models as an effective means to a cure. Mice are most commonly used, although "Mice are actually poor models of the majority of human cancers"; according to the industry's own laboratory animal publication. According to leading cancer researcher, Robert Weinberg:

"The preclinical (animal) models of human cancer, in large part, stink… Hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted every year by drug companies using these models." [10]

See also War on Cancer.

Animal welfare issues for laboratory rodents

Rodents & the Animal Welfare Act

Over 90% of the animals used in experimentation are excluded from the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the only federal law which over sees animal testing. Rats, mice, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are expressly eliminated from all safeguards. Species not covered under the AWA do not even have to be reported. [11] See also USDA.

Animal cruelty

Mice endure horrendous suffering in laboratories, including having their heads cut off with scissors. This routine practice was documented during a 2002 investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) at UNC. The investigator reported that "(mice) with bleeding, oozing sores and enormous tumors were left to die, while those who survived were crowded into cages and abused in painful experiments." Another investigator reported that:

"(a) researcher telling me that he is supposed to (but doesn't) numb young rats with ice … before cutting their heads off with scissors and removing their brains. Even very young rats scream, and I won't ever forget that for as long as I live."

It's estimated that 100 million transgenic mice are killed in U.S. labs every year. [12], [13] See also ten worst laboratories.

The vivisection "debate"

See also animal testing, section 6.

Other information

Facility information, progress reports & USDA-APHIS reports

For links to copies of this facility's U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) reports, other information and links, see also Facility Reports and Information: The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME. [14]

USDA AWA reports

As of May 26, 2009, the USDA began posting all inspection reports for animal breeders, dealers, exhibitors, handlers, research facilities and animal carriers by state. See also USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports.


The Jackson Laboratory's operating revenue for the fiscal year 2009 was $166 million dollars. The company received 98.7 million dollars for JAX® Mice and related services; 54.3 million in government grants and contracts and 13 million in other contributions. [15]

See also NIH & U.S. Government's War on Animals, section 5.



  • Richard P. Woychik, Ph.D. - President & CEO
  • Robert Braun, Ph.D. - Associate Director & Chair of Research
  • Leah Rae Donahue, Ph.D. - Director of Genetic Resource Science; Senior Research Scientist
  • Charles E. Hewett, Ph.D. - VP & COO
  • Michael E. Hyde, M. Ed. - VP, Advancement & External Relations
  • Linda Jensen, M.S. - CFO [16]
  • Brian Wrueble - Chairman
  • Donald Stern - Chairman [17]


The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
United States

Phone: 207-288-6000

JAX® Mice and Services
610 Main Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
United States

Phone: 800-422-6423
Fax: 207-288-6150

The Jackson Laboratory—West
4910 Raley Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95838
United States

Phone: 800-422-6423
Fax: 916-469-2542 Fax

Web address:

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles


  1. Company Description: The Jackson Laboratory, Hoovers, accessed February 2010
  2. Fast Facts, The Jackson Laboratory, accessed February 2010
  3. PETA Names the 10 Worst CEOs for Animals in Laboratories, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, accessed December 2009
  4. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),, accessed February 2009
  5. NHP Study: Evidence from Europeans for Medical Progress and Antidote-Europe, Safer Medicines Campaign, pg 1, accessed February 2009
  6. Harding, A.More compounds failing phase I. FDA chief warns that high drug attrition rate is pushing up the cost of drug development. The Scientist, August 6th 2004
  7. Fast Facts, The Jackson Laboratory, accessed February 2010
  8. Cancer, Information for Transformation, accessed February 2009
  9. Patricia Haight, Ph.D., Shaynie Aero The Failed Research of Micheal Berens, Liberation Magazine, accessed February 2009
  10. A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation: A. Selected Diseases: 1. Cancer, Medical Research Modernization Committee, 2006
  11. The Animal Care Program and the USDA's Authority Under the AWA: Q & A, U.S. Department of Agriculture, APHIS Fact Sheet, July 2005, page 2
  12. PETA Names the 10 Worst CEOs for Animals in Laboratories, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, accessed December 2009
  13. Rick Weiss Lab animal abuses caught on PETA tape: Group circulates spy video to Congress, Washington Post, April 2002
  14. Facility Reports and Information: The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, Stop Animal Experimentation NOW!, accessed February 2010
  15. Fast Facts, The Jackson Laboratory, accessed February 2010
  16. Leadership, The Jackson Laboratory, accessed February 2010
  17. Company Description: The Jackson Laboratory, Hoovers, accessed February 2010
  18. Contact Us, The Jackson Laboratory, accessed February 2010