Millions in taxpayer money used to study drunken monkeys

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Talk about monkeying around.

The federal government reportedly has spent more than $3 million to get monkeys drunk in order to study the effect the alcohol has on body tissue.

The Washington Times reported Friday on a host of questionable grant programs administered by the National Institutes of Health, including a multi-year project to study if over-drinking causes gamblers to lose more money.

The monkey project, which reportedly has cost taxpayers $3.2 million so far, is being led by the Oregon Health & Science University.

Researchers say the work will “bridge the gap” between studies that focus on rodents and human research. According to the Times, they say it will allow the "alcohol research community to better understand disease processes associated with alcoholism."

As part of the research, scientists reportedly force monkeys to drink too much and then study their tissue for damage.

NIH argues that its grants help scientists and students in their "potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientist."

David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, told the Times the money is being doled out “with no real consideration of whether the projects being funded are of any value to taxpayers.”