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MORE NIH-FUNDED ATROCITIES IN FOREIGN LABS
In a landmark move to curb the out-of-control waste of taxpayer funds on foreign animal experiments, U.S. Reps. Dina Titus (D-Nev.-01) and Troy Nehls (R-Texas-22) have introduced a bill that would prevent foreign laboratories from receiving public money. We need your help to get this landmark legislation passed!
The Cease Animal Research Grants Overseas (CARGO) Act (HR 4757) would prevent the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from awarding “grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or technical assistance” of any kind to any foreign entity for experiments on animals.
Why This Is Important
NIH has been funding experiments that harm and kill animals in appalling ways:
- Addicting dogs to opioids and rats to cocaine
- Causing strokes in monkeys and infecting them with HIV-like viruses and tuberculosis
- Blinding monkeys
- Infecting pigs, hamsters, and snails with parasites
- Wounding rabbits’ vocal cords and spinal cords
- Removing the eyes of mice
- Tormenting bats to make them a “model” to study coronaviruses
- Infecting bats with highly harmful viruses—and setting the stage for the next pandemic
- Restraining fully conscious rats, implanting more than 500 electrodes in their brains, and forcing the animals to live like this for months
- Giving high doses of amphetamines to mice and forcing them to become drunk
- Infecting mice with gonorrhea
- Electroshocking rats
- Inducing seizures in baby rats
If passed, the bill would prevent NIH from squandering billions of dollars and defund a corrupt system rife with animal suffering and death that U.S. taxpayers have been funding for decades.
It’s better science: Experiments on animals overwhelmingly fail to lead to treatments for humans. A full 95% of new medications that test safe and effective on animals go on to fail in human trials. American tax dollars should support only the best research.
It would save money: NIH shelled out about $2.2 billion in taxpayer money to foreign organizations during the decade ending in 2021. That money went to approximately 200 foreign organizations and funded 1,177 grants and 180 contracts involving experiments on animals in 45 countries, including China and Russia. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which falls under the NIH umbrella, funded a third of the grants and 95% of the contracts.
It would stop corruption: NIH bankrolls these organizations but has zero oversight regarding how they operate or how the money is spent.
- Foreign organizations receiving less than $750,000 a year—or roughly 90% of the grants awarded in the last five years—are exempt from NIH audits.
- NIH doesn’t inspect foreign laboratories or arrange third-party inspections to ensure that the facilities meet animal welfare standards.
- Unbelievably, NIH also sends out checks without verifying that claims in grant applications and progress reports are even true.
- NIH doesn’t require foreign laboratories to have an oversight committee that reviews proposed experiments and ensures compliance with laws and regulations.
- NIH just hands over fistfuls of taxpayer money and then simply trusts foreign organizations to report, if they’re so inclined, any information about finances, facilities, and animal welfare.
It’s a prescription for abuse. And the abuse has flourished.
Case Study: NIH-Funded Colombian Lab
Between 2003 and 2023, NIH gave more than $17 million to two organizations in Colombia for projects including experiments on monkeys and mice.
But after a PETA investigation, three separate Colombian government agencies launched investigations into the heads of these organizations. One of the agencies has already charged the experimenters with causing harm to wild animals, lacking permits to capture monkeys and experiment on them, and committing other environmental crimes. Criminal charges may follow.
Experiments were suspended, and authorities rescued 108 monkeys found with old fractures, amputations, missing teeth and eyes, necrosis, and more. City officials shut down the facility after finding it unsanitary and dangerous, rescuing an additional 180 mice.
PETA also uncovered allegations of questionable business practices, such as allowing children to serve on the board of directors, having no properly established ethics committee, manipulating data, and mishandling human samples.
In June 2023, six months after PETA shared with NIH compelling evidence of animal abuse and corruption, the agency finally made these organizations ineligible to receive its funds.
Huge thanks to Reps. Nehls and Titus for their leadership and compassion!
What You Can Do
The CARGO Act would stem the flow of money to unaccountable and potentially illegal foreign animal experimenters who operate outside the reach of U.S. law. It would be commonsense legislation that would send a commonsense message: No more. The abuse stops here!
Please use the form below to urge your U.S. representative to cosponsor the CARGO Act today! (Note: You may not be given the option to contact your legislator because they’re already a cosponsor of the bill.)