Reps. Nancy Mace, Ted Lieu Lead Call for NIH to Modernize Research

Eight Reps Sign Bipartisan Letter Backing Plan to Phase Out Animal Experiments

For Immediate Release:
February 11, 2022

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

WashingtonRep. Nancy Mace, a Republican representing South Carolina’s First Congressional District, and Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat representing California’s 33rd Congressional District, sent a letter signed by eight members of Congress to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Acting Director Dr. Lawrence Tabak urging a phase-out of costly and ineffective animal experiments. Citing NIH’s own statistic that 95% of new drugs fail in human trials, the bipartisan proposal suggests that the agency immediately do the following:

  • Eliminate funding for animal experiments that we know fail to translate to humans
  • Identify all other areas in which animal experiments consistently fail and end funding for them
  • Prioritize funding for modern, human-relevant research

“As an animal lover and firm supporter of animal rights, it is deeply concerning to me to see the NIH’s continued funding of cruel and ineffective research on animals,” said Mace. “The animal experiments led by NIH have not resulted in treatments, vaccines, or cures for human diseases. NIH should focus on modernizing research beneficial for humans and work to phase out these unproductive and heartless experiments on animals.”

“Since I came to Congress, it has been a priority of mine to reduce the needless suffering of animals caused by costly and ineffective animal experiments,” Lieu said. “I’m pleased to join Representative Mace in calling on the NIH to phase out animal experiments, which often fail to lead to treatments, vaccines, and cures for human diseases. Last year, we saw the European Parliament take action to modernize scientific innovation without the use of animals in research and testing. It’s time for us to do the same. I’m honored to join in this bipartisan effort to protect innocent animals from useless suffering and look forward to the NIH’s response.”

In addition to Mace and Lieu, the following members of Congress signed the letter: Reps. Bill Posey, Joe Neguse, Dina Titus, Brendan Boyle, Darren Soto, and Jerry McNerney.

NIH spent approximately $19.6 billion on animal studies last year—nearly half its annual budget—even as other countries are embracing humane research methods. The joint letter points out that although the European Parliament recently passed a resolution calling on the European Commission to create an action plan to end all experiments on animals, the U.S. has no such plan. The European Parliament’s move came after members reviewed PETA’s Research Modernization Deal.

“PETA is grateful to these representatives for their critical leadership on this issue,” said PETA neuroscientist and Chief of Science Advancement and Outreach Dr. Katherine Roe. “NIH now has a clear message from Congress that if the U.S. wants to be a world leader in biomedical research and get the health advances Americans desperately need, it needs to move away from outdated models and embrace modern, human-relevant research methods. PETA scientists stand ready to assist with this transition.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind