Update: June 16, 2021
Thousands of PETA supporters joined us in demanding that the government stop funding this experiment—and the feds listened. This is a victory for animals and good science.
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has informed PETA that the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)—a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—has cut funding for the racist mouse experiment. Experimenters there were forcing mice to endure “episodic aggression” to mimic “structural violence observed in urban [African American] communities.” “Episodic aggression” is a euphemism for forcing mice to fight in some way or putting a mouse together with a larger, unknown one who is stressed and likely to harm the smaller one.
The move comes after PETA and tens of thousands of our supporters urged UIC and the NIMHD director to end this insulting, cruel experiment and after PETA contacted Susan Rice, the director of the White House’s Domestic Policy Council, to ask that the administration instruct NIH to stop directing a disproportionate amount of its research budget to white animal experimenters and instead direct funds to African American investigators who are more likely to propose research on health disparities and patient intervention that involves human participants—and not pointless animal studies.
Non-animal research methods offer real hope of developing treatments and cures and ending health disparities. Urge your congressional representatives to support PETA’s Research Modernization Deal, which paves the way for effective, modern science.
Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise anyone that experimenters who imprison, mutilate, and kill sentient beings in a laboratory may also conduct racist tests.
But you won’t believe this one.
At the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), an experiment principally led by Lisa Tussing-Humphreys is forcing mice to endure “episodic aggression” to mimic “structural violence observed in urban [African American] communities.” “Episodic aggression” is what animal experimenters call forcing mice to fight in some way or putting a smaller mouse together with a larger, unknown mouse who is stressed and likely to harm the little one. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) is funding this with our tax dollars. The goal? Purportedly, to find out why colorectal cancer disproportionately affects African Americans. In other words, her team is tormenting mice in racist experiments using more than $840,000 in taxpayer funds—for no one’s benefit.
That’s why PETA is urging NIMHD Director Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable to stop funding this experiment. As PETA notes in our letters, subjecting mice to violence obviously doesn’t accurately mimic the real-life systemic hardships endured by Black Americans—and Tussing-Humphreys’ experiment ignores the systemic racism and other complex socio-economic factors that create health disparities in communities of color.
We’ve also contacted Susan Rice, the director of the White House’s Domestic Policy Council, to ask that the administration instruct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to stop directing a disproportionate amount of its research budget to white animal experimenters. Reports show that applications for funding submitted by African American investigators are less likely to be funded than those submitted by white investigators. One reason is this: Black applicants are more likely to propose research that focuses on health disparities and patient intervention and involves human participants instead of animals.
Every year, millions of mice are used in cruel and useless taxpayer-funded experiments like the one being conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
It’s clear that NIH’s research priorities, hiring practices, and grant-review processes need major reform. Adopting PETA’s Research Modernization Deal, which outlines a plan for phasing out the use of animals in experiments, would be an effective step toward equal opportunity and compassionate research.