UPDATE December 30, 2020: As a result of our investigation, Congress has directed the NIH to commission an independent study by the National Academies of the NIH’s intramural primate testing and how modern alternatives can reduce their use. This direction is in the NIH’s 2021 funding bill (see page 69). You can read more about this and other WCW wins for animals and taxpayers in the government’s 2021 funding bill in our new blog!
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Just a week after White Coat Waste Project released never-before-seen videos of NIH bureaucrats wasting tax dollars to give monkeys brain damage and torment them with toy snakes and spiders, powerful Democrat and Republican lawmakers are demanding answers.
The federal government has spent almost $100M on monkey brain studies since 2007, including $16M on tests in which scientists tried to scare the monkeys with rubber snakes and spiders — and lawmakers are demanding to know why. https://t.co/q8kMArEys3
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 2, 2020
As first reported by NBC News, a bipartisan coalition of U.S. Congressmembers including Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Brian Mast (R-FL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Dina Titus (D-NV) has fired off a letter about the “disturbing taxpayer-funded experiments” to NIH Director Francis Collins. Citing WCW’s investigation and FOIA lawsuit, the lawmakers express “serious concerns about whether this questionable research deserves continued support from Congress and taxpayers” and request cost details and other information.
The lawmakers’ missive follows historic legislation signed into law in December 2019 directing the NIH to report to Congress on efforts to reduce and replace primate tests. Relatedly, Reps. Boyle and Gaetz have pressured the Food and Drug Administration to end primate tests, Reps. Titus and Mast have led efforts to end primate, dog and cat testing at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Rep. Roybal-Allard has been the leading voice pressing the NIH to cut primate testing.
These disturbing psychological tests on monkeys highlight the need for greater oversight of NIH efforts to reduce primate testing. As Vice Chair of the House subcommittee that funds the NIH, I will be pushing Dir. Collins for answers about these tests. https://t.co/I686UuusbW
— Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (@RepRoybalAllard) March 2, 2020
We’ve worked hard to put a stop to unnecessary experiments on cats & dogs at federal agencies, but our work is far from over. I have serious concerns about this questionable research on monkeys at the National Institute of Mental Health. What do you think?https://t.co/Uqw7BzBYhj
— Rep. Brian Mast (@RepBrianMast) March 2, 2020
Tax day is around the corner. Is scaring monkeys with toy spiders how you want your money spent? Tell your lawmakers that you don’t want to pay for cruel and absurd monkey experiments!