For Immediate Release:
October 28, 2021
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
Washington – A national advocacy group for Black and other underserved minority 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 purportedly done in attempts to bolster the marketing of common foods.
Farms to Grow, Inc., sent letters this morning to several checkoffs and to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees them, demanding an end to animal tests funded by these mandatory assessment fees, which amount to a tax on farmers.
“It … defies logic that these tests—in which animals have been beheaded for blueberries, mutilated for mangoes, and suffocated for soybeans—would purport to help promote those agricultural products, since the majority of consumers don’t support animal cruelty,” writes Farms to Grow Cofounder Dr. Gail P. Myers. “Conducting these tests is a horrible marketing strategy that does a disservice to farmers, consumers, and animals.”
More than 2,600 animals were douched, poisoned, force-fed, starved, irradiated, bled, suffocated, beheaded, and dissected in tests funded by agricultural commodity R&P boards that were published between 2015 and 2019, in dubious attempts to promote 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 hearing from 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.