Mayo Quote


On April 28, an advertisement for an animal rights group printed in The Times misquoted Dr. Charles H. Mayo, co-founder of Mayo Clinic, and incorrectly labeled him as a critic of animal research.

There is no evidence that Dr. Mayo ever made any statement critical of animal research. Charles Mayo and his brother, Dr. William J. Mayo, who both died in 1939, strongly supported the use of animals in biomedical research for the benefit of humanity.

In fact, Charles Mayo contributed the land which became the site of Mayo’s first research facility. William Mayo, in a speech delivered on June 6, 1921, summed up the brothers’ thoughts on this topic:


“Animal experimentation has resulted in gifts of inestimable value to humanity. The pernicious activities of antivivisectionists seriously threaten the continuance of these investigations, which are of such paramount importance to the nation’s health.”

Millions of people owe their lives to the success of biomedical research involving ethical and humane use of animals. The Mayo brothers were among the first to realize the importance of this research, and would never condone the actions of those misrepresenting their convictions.

ROBERT K. SMOLDT, Secretary, Board of Governors, Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn.