Victory: WCW Closes FDA’s Biggest Primate Lab

Posted by Amanda Nieves
30 August 2023 | Blog


  • Big Win: WCW has ended ALL primate testing and breeding at the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR)—FDA’s biggest monkey lab.
  • When WCW launched this campaign, NCTR experimentation was at an all-time high. 200+ monkeys were abused each year. Now it’s 0. 
  • No other group has shut down a government monkey lab—or any primate tests in the USA—in nearly a decade.

White Coat Waste (WCW) is a Project to get the U.S. government out of the monkey experimentation business. 

Thanks to our hard-hitting campaigns and effective lobbying, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) biggest primate lab just completely shut down ALL monkey tests as well as its breeding program!

Back in 2016, we first uncovered that the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) in Arkansas was addicting baby monkeys to nicotine.  

Your tax bill? $5.5 million. 

WCW Primate Lab Victory

FOIA to Freedom: This is an actual video of Gregory inside NCTR’s nicotine chamber. WCW shut it down and retired Gregory to a sanctuary.

In early 2018, following WCW’s campaign, the FDA canceled these tests and—for the first time in agency history—retired the surviving primates to a sanctuary. 

But hundreds more monkeys were still being locked up and tortured at NCTR. The FDA was addicted to spending. 

So we intensified our campaign to find and expose even more waste and abuse inside NCTR’s primate labs and united Republicans and Democrats like Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and Ken Calvert (R-CA) to enact legislation to end it. 

WCW Primate Lab Victory

WCW’s slashed NCTR’s primate abuse from its peak down to ZERO!

Our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) investigations and lawsuits revealed how baby monkeys were locked alone in tiny cages for years on end, forcibly addicted to amphetamine, ketamine, and Ritalin. Newborns were torn from their traumatized mothers and slaughtered before they’re a week old. 

In one disturbing email, FDA white coats literally congratulate each other for torturing and killing one of these babies: 

This is an actual FDA email at the NCTR lab. Teamwork from bipartisan lawmakers and our grassroots army helped WCW shut it down.

As you can see, heartless government white coats didn’t just pat themselves on the back for abusing these babies. They danced as they locked up the little monkeys in cages: 

This is an actual FDA video at the NCTR lab. Our new win helps ensure this wasteful government spending won’t happen again.

When we first launched this campaign, FDA’s primate experimentation at the NCTR lab was at its peak with over 200 monkeys abused each year—now it’s ZERO. 

The FDA has just informed WCW that “NCTR does not currently have an NHP program. It was retired in December 2022”! 

A majority of Democrats and Republicans agree: taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for FDA’s monkey business.  

Now, thanks to WCW’s winning campaign, they won’t have to any longer. 

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WCW Closes FDA's Biggest Primate Lab