WCW Was Right: Feds Find NIH Shipped $2B+ to Foreign Animal Labs with No Oversight

30 March 2023 | Blog

As we’ve said time and time again, our historic lab leak investigation and campaign to end Wuhan Waste is a means to an end— that is, exposing and ending Worldwide Waste and the U.S. government’s wasteful spending spree on animal experiments all around the globe.

This new GAO audit is Exhibit A.

GAO Audit Foreign Waste

The White Coat Waste Project (WCW) shocked the world when we first exposed how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded gain-of-function animal experiments at the Wuhan lab— the probable cause of a lab leak and pandemic. More recently, we’ve documented how NIH wasted taxpayer money at a Russian government lab for deadly spinal cord experiments on cats. Our exposés of a Tunisian lab torturing puppies, a U.K. lab wasting American tax dollars to addict fish to nicotine, and a lab in Chile that’s making mice binge drink alcohol even landed on the radar of powerful politicians like our friend Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

Sadly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Our Worldwide Waste investigation documented for the first time how the NIH ships over $140 million in taxpayers’ money to foreign animal labs with essentially no oversight or accountability! In all, the NIH currently authorizes over 346 animal labs in 53 foreign countries—including dozens in Russia and China!—to receive taxpayer dollars specifically for animal experiments.

What’s worse is that we’ve also uncovered an illegal NIH loophole (that we’re suing over!) that exempts all foreign labs from key oversight that’s required in U.S. labs, and how some of these foreign labs are in countries without any laws or policies protecting animal in labs.

Back in 2021, a powerful bipartisan Congressional coalition led by Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) cited our investigations as the basis for demanding an audit of NIH’s foreign animal lab spending by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Uncle Sam’s own nonpartisan, internal watchdog.

GAO Audit Foreign Waste

Now, following our multi-year project, the results of the first-ever audit of wasteful government spending in foreign animal labs are in.

The GAO opens by acknowledging taxpayers’ concerns about cruel and wasteful animal experiments!

The damning new audit found that the NIH shipped $2.2 billion over the last 10 years to 200 different foreign labs in 44 countries!

GAO Audit Foreign Waste

Of note, the GAO found that Dr. Fauci’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)—which he ran for decades until he turned over the reins to another animal experimenter in December 2022—was responsible for virtually all (over $1.8 billion!) of the NIH’s wasteful foreign lab spending! NIAID’s puppy torture in Tunisia, gain-of-function in Wuhan, and EcoHealth’s reckless virus-hunting are apparently just child’s play!

WCW investigators 1st exposed how Fauci funded these beagle experiments in Tunisia.

GAO Audit Foreign Waste

Federal investigators also backed up other WCW findings from Worldwide Waste and concluded that there’s inadequate oversight of how tax dollars are being spent and how animals are being treated in foreign labs funded by the NIH.

GAO Audit Foreign Waste

Echoing what WCW previously documented, the GAO found: 

  • NIH does not require foreign animal labs to abide by U.S. laws and policies
  • NIH (we believe illegally) exempts foreign labs from having legally-mandated animal lab oversight committees
  • NIH does not require foreign animal labs to report abuses and violations
  • NIH has no system to verify the accuracy of self-reported information from foreign animal labs
  • NIH has never inspected a single foreign animal lab in its 38 years of animal welfare oversight

GAO Lab Leak Audit

GAO Lab Leak Audit

GAO Audit Foreign Waste

Indeed, for years we have sought records from NIH related to violations in the foreign animal labs it funds and were told no such records exist. In July 2021, we asked the NIH for all violation reports from the foreign animal labs it funds for the period of July 2016 to July 2021. The NIH responded that it “searched its files and no records responsive to your request were located.”

Meanwhile, NIH-funded U.S. animal labs report thousands of violations in writing every year. The GAO found just four reported instances of noncompliance from 200 foreign animal labs from 2019-2021, including cases in which monkeys and mice were killed as a result.

The GAO report also specifically cites our Foreign Animal Lab Loophole lawsuit against the NIH.

Based on its findings, the GAO urges the NIH to improve oversight of foreign animal labs. We’ll be closely monitoring.

We can only wonder if the NIH inspected the Wuhan lab and required adequate oversight and reporting whether the mouse deaths, illegal gain-of-function experiments, and other abuses exposed there would’ve been caught sooner and a devastating pandemic averted.

GAO Audit Foreign Waste

For our part, we’re continuing our work with Congress to permanently defund the Wuhan lab and pass the AFAR Act to defund all animal labs in adversarial nations like Russia and China.

Last year we worked with Congress to successfully enact legislation prohibiting tax funding for dangerous experiments with “pathogens of pandemic potential” in foreign countries of concern (like Russia and China). We’ve also successfully blocked Pentagon funding from WIV, but a loophole still allows the NIH to ship our money to the white coats there.

If Uncle Sam wasn’t recklessly shipping billions of tax dollars to cruel and wasteful animal labs around the world in the first place, we wouldn’t have to worry about what these shady white coats were up to with our money.

Blog Comments

Lab animal welfare ethics dumping = overseas animal testing loopholes. Animal research renditioning?

Why aren’t the taxpayers asked if they want THEIR MONEY to be used to torture innocent animals? Dr. Fauci should be held accountable as an accomplice to the cruel experiments performed in these labs! He chooses to keep his head in the sand, and justify these torturous experiments! We need to be their voice to put an end to the operations of every single one of these labs.

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