New WCW study: NIH spends $100M+ on animal tests using human fetal tissue

Posted by Justin Goodman
22 October 2019 | Blog


Earlier this year, White Coat Waste Project (WCW) and Pro-Life San Francisco (PLSF) exposed how the federal government has been wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on cruel and unnecessary animal testing using human fetal tissue (HFT). Now, a new WCW-PLSF study of National Institutes of Health (NIH) spending data shows the full scale and scope of this national epidemic.

$100M+ WASTED ON HFT ANIMAL TESTS
In the new analysis titled Hidden Horror, WCW and PLSF reviewed all 200 NIH-funded HFT projects and found that an astounding 177 (89%) include animal testing. These wasteful and unnecessary animal experiments–which consumed $108 million in 2018–involve transplanting eyes, intestines, bones and other fetal body parts into monkeys, mice, rats, rabbits and other animals.

NATIONAL EPIDEMIC
WCW and PLSF found that over 50 different institutions in 31 states are receiving tax dollars for HFT animal testing, with California, Maryland, and North Carolina at the top of the list with over $10 million in NIH funding each.

LOOPHOLES ALLOW SOME HFT ANIMAL TESTS TO CONTINUE UNCHECKED
The Trump Administration has taken bold steps to stop wasteful spending on HFT animal tests. As of June 2019, HFT animal testing is banned in government labs, and as of September 2019, new rules require an ethics board review of all new HFT research proposals submitted by non-government experimenters.

However, the rules state that existing HFT grants will not be reviewed until the end of their funding cycles. WCW and PLSF study found that this would allow many wasteful projects to go unchecked and continue squandering tax dollars until 2023.

CONGRESS TAKES ACTION
Last week, citing WCW’S efforts, 69 Members of Congress led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) sent a letter to Secretary Alex Azar–who oversees the NIH–requesting detailed information about current NIH-funded HFT experimentation on animals, oversight of the program, and compliance with relevant laws.

As WCW and PLSF wrote in a recent op-ed:

“Even in this contentious political climate, surely everyone, pro-lifers, animal lovers, Republicans and Democrats, can agree that taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for these disgusting human fetal tissue experiments on animals.”

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