James Cromwell to Confront National Institute of Mental Health Over Animal Testing

For Immediate Release:
May 29, 2024

Sara Groves 202-483-7382


PETA Honorary Director James Cromwell, star of the Apple TV+ series Sugar,will attend the National Institute of Mental Health National Advisory Mental Health Council meeting on Thursday to urge the agency to stop wasting resources on cruel and ineffective animal experimentation.

The Emmy-winning actor will present a petition signed by nearly 60,000 people and a letter from nearly 400 physicians, scientists, and mental health professionals calling on the agency to redirect its resources to modern, human-relevant research methods and improve access to mental health care. He’ll carry a photo of a monkey named Sam Smith, who’s held captive in one of the agency’s own laboratories, where he and other monkeys are isolated in tiny cages for years, forced to undergo multiple invasive brain surgeries, and repeatedly terrorized with realistic-looking snakes and spiders.

When: Thursday, May 30, 4 p.m.

Where: Neuroscience Center Building, 6001 Executive Blvd., Conference Room C/D/E, Rockville, Maryland

Members of the media who would like to attend the meeting must register in advance. The meeting runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Cromwell will be available for comment outside the Neuroscience Center Building at 4 p.m. and again around 5 p.m., after the public comment portion of the meeting.

James Cromwell with rescued pig on bench
James Cromwell holds Babe, a rescued piglet. Credit: PETA

“The federal government continues to pour billions of dollars into horrifically cruel experiments on animals that are failing to lead to treatments for mental illness,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA and James Cromwell are calling on the National Institute of Mental Health to do better.”

The National Institute of Mental Health receives millions of dollars in taxpayer funding each year for animal experimentation—even though 95% of new drugs that test safe and effective in animal tests later fail in human clinical trials and a study by the agency’s own researchers concluded that animals are poor models for studying human diseases. PETA scientists’ Research Modernization Deal presents evidence of the failure of animal experimentation and provides a strategy for replacing such experiments with superior, human-relevant methods.

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 PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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