For Immediate Release:
July 7, 2021
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Washington – A national advocacy group for Black farmers has joined PETA’s campaign to stop fruit, vegetable, and grain research and promotion (R&P) boards—or “checkoffs”—from charging farmers mandatory assessment fees in order to fund experiments on animals. The deadly tests are done in an attempt to bolster the marketing of common foods.
Family Agriculture Resource Management Services (F.A.R.M.S.)—a leading nonprofit dedicated to reversing small farmland loss in low-income rural areas—sent letters this morning to several checkoffs and to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees them, to demand an end to animal tests funded by these mandatory assessment fees, which amount to a tax on farmers.
“Many farmers in today’s economy are struggling,” writes F.A.R.M.S. Founding CEO Jillian Hishaw. “They don’t need barbaric tests on animals to sell their agricultural commodities. Rather, they need economic relief from inflated assessment fees that are wasted on worthless experiments on animals.”
More than 2,600 animals have been douched, poisoned, force-fed, starved, irradiated, bled, suffocated, beheaded, and dissected in tests funded by agricultural commodity R&P boards and published between 2015 and 2019, in dubious attempts to promote blueberries, mushrooms, mangos, watermelons, raspberries, sorghum, soybeans, and other common agricultural commodities. The Government Accountability Office reports that in 2016, assessment fees for agricultural commodity producers, handlers, processors, importers, and others totaled over $885 million, of which a portion is wasted on animal testing.
After discussions with PETA and receiving e-mails from more than 85,000 consumers, the Hass Avocado Board—which had funded avocado experiments in which animals were force-fed, starved, bled, suffocated, and dissected—adopted a public policy stating that it “does not support, fund, or conduct animal research.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. To learn more, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.