Former NIH Chief Reveals Agency’s Inability to Prevent Fraud, Animal Abuse: PETA Statement

For Immediate Release:
May 20, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo in response to the recent transcript release from the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, regarding the interview of former National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins on January 12, 2024:

Dr. Francis Collins’ admission to the subcommittee regarding NIH’s failure to uphold standards ensuring proper stewardship of U.S. taxpayer dollars is both shocking and sadly predictable. Collins’ ignorance of the lack of NIH standards to certify foreign laboratories that receive taxpayer funds and ensure adherence to Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories guidelines is deeply concerning.

This revelation underscores a long-standing issue: NIH’s inability to effectively implement and enforce regulations to prevent fraud, animal abuse, and medical research misconduct in overseas laboratories that receive U.S. funding. A tragic example of this lack of oversight and accountability is found in Colombia, where, after an 18-month investigation, PETA uncovered that the directors of a laboratory funded by NIH with millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars committing fraud for financial gain.

NIH’s allocation of $200 to $300 million a year in taxpayer funds to foreign laboratories that conduct experiments on animals is unacceptable. Congress must take immediate action to end this wasteful expenditure by supporting the Cease Animal Research Grants Overseas (CARGO) Act introduced by Reps. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Troy Nehls (R-Texas). This bipartisan legislation is crucial to halting the abuse of taxpayer money, preventing cruelty to animals, and promoting ethical research practices.

Congress must prioritize accountability and the ethical stewardship of taxpayer dollars. The U.S. taxpayer, animals subjected to abuse and exploitation, and the integrity of medical research demand swift action to rectify these systemic failures.

You can find the exchange between the committee and Dr. Collins here (see page 37, lines 877 to 927).

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on XFacebook, or Instagram.

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