Feds Still Funding Controversial EcoHealth Alliance and Colombia Group Raided by Authorities: PETA Asks Why

For Immediate Release:
May 9, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


Please see the following statement from PETA Vice President of International Laboratory Methods Shalin Gala urging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to stop funding scofflaw foreign companies after the agency renewed grant money for EcoHealth Alliance, which funded experiments on bats at a Wuhan, China, facility that may have been the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only in a fever dream would it make sense for NIH to continue writing checks to rogue organizations around the world when the agency has no oversight mechanisms in place for foreign organizations that receive American taxpayer money.

In Colombia, NIH inexplicably continues to fund the experiments of husband-and-wife duo Sócrates Herrera and Myriam Arévalo, whose filthy, decrepit facilities were recently raided by authorities and from which all the suffering animals—including 108 monkeys—were removed in the largest animal rescue operation of its kind in the country. This followed PETA’s exhaustive, 18-month investigation into the fraudulent operation that still receives more than half a million dollars in NIH funding.

The Colombian group is at the center of several research papers—published in Nature Communications, Redox Biology, Vaccine, PLOS One, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and others—that are problematic because of apparent lack of appropriate ethics approvals, as reported by Retraction Watch and Science.

Between 2011 and 2021, NIH gave around $2.2 billion to approximately 200 foreign organizations to fund 1,177 grants and 180 contracts involving experiments on animals. This taxpayer money went to 45 countries, including Brazil, China, Colombia, Kenya, and Russia, even though the agency has no oversight of the facilities it funds outside the U.S. It’s time to bounce these checks and put that money into modern, human-relevant, animal-free research by adopting PETA’s Research Modernization Deal.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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