Victory: How WCW Saved $1M & 4,000 Pregnant Animals From NIH “Womb to Tomb” Tests 

Posted by Amanda Nieves
20 October 2023 | Blog

 

  • Big Win: WCW shut down a set of massive NIH experiments, spared 4,000 animals, and saved $1M tax dollars.
  • The U.S. government planned to force-feed pregnant animals dong quai—an herbal supplement used for homemade abortions.
  • Small mammals were to be electro-shocked, startled with loud noises, impregnated, then cut open.
  • NIH’s National Toxicology Program called it “womb to tomb.”
  • WCW investigators exposed the animal tests, rallied Congress, and stopped NIH’s wasteful spending.

White Coat Waste (WCW) is a Project to get the U.S. government out of the animal testing business. This is the true story of how we stopped its multi-million-dollar animal testing scheme to experiment with an herbal supplement marketed for erectile dysfunction and used to induce homemade abortions.

In 2017, we first uncovered plans for a battery of wasteful and cruel tests on nearly 4,000 pregnant animals and their babies by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Toxicology Program (NTP).

The horrendous animal experiments were designed to test an herbal supplement called dong quai.

Just one of the many tests planned called for torturing and killing 3,400 small mammals. The other tests were going to kill hundreds more.

But, following a three-year WCW campaign, this misguided plan was killed in the crib.

WCW uncovered that NIH white coats planned to spend more than $1 million tax dollars on stomach-turning experiments that Waste Warrior Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) described, correctly, as “ghoulish and horrifying.”

In testing that the NTP itself calls “womb to tomb,” pregnant animals were going to be force-fed massive doses of dong quai throughout their pregnancies. The doses were high enough to kill some of the pregnant mothers or cause miscarriages.

For those who survived, after giving birth, their babies would then be forced to ingest the chemicals, too.

In their own words: here’s the NTP’s actual description of the animal tests planned for dong quai.

 

The chemical-exposed babies would then be impregnated. Some, in turn, would’ve had their fetuses cut out and dissected. Other babies would be allowed to be born and then electro-shocked, blasted with loud noises, and killed.

Seem crazy? See for yourself 👇🏼

WCW investigators uncovered this photo in NIH records. It shows a rat locked in what the NIH calls a “startle chamber” that blasts animals with loud sounds in order to observe their response. Government records describe the pain and distress they expect to cause.

 

NTP writes that the tests can cause animals “convulsions,” “tremors,” “repetitive circling,” and “bizarre behavior (e.g., biting or excessive licking, self-mutilation, walking backwards, vocalization).”

Do you think that’s how your hard-earned money should be squandered? No, we don’t either!

That’s why we did our investigation, co-hosted a bipartisan Congressional briefing, released an investigative report, and worked with Congressmen Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Ken Calvert (R-CA) to hold the NTP accountable for its wasteful animal testing plans.

And after all this work to find and expose the NTP’s horrific, expensive dong quai animal tests…

🔥 We. Got. Results. 🔥

WCW discovered that the NTP website no longer listed any pending, current, or completed animal tests for dong quai! The only listed study was one non-animal test.

Rep. Gaetz inquired with the NTP about WCW’s discovery. In a dramatic shift from its earlier position, in an October 2020 letter, the NTP’s director wrote to Rep. Gaetz: “With regard to NTP’s plans for Dong quai, no animal studies are pre-supposed at this time….”

Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay $1 million for 4,000 animals to be electrocuted, startled with loud noises, impregnated, then brutally cut open.

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

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