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NIH Shipped $2 Billion to Foreign Animal Testing Labs With Very Little Oversight

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) shipped $2 billion to foreign animal testing labs with very little oversight, according to a new US Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit.

The audit was prompted by an investigation by White Coat Waste Project, a taxpayer watchdog organization focused on animal testing.

White Coat Waste Project’s Worldwide Waste investigation revealed that NIH sent over $140 million in taxpayer funds to  over 346 animal labs in 53 foreign countries—including dozens in Russia and China.

According to WCW, “what’s worse is that we’ve also uncovered an illegal NIH loophole (that we’re suing over!) that exempts all foreign labs from key oversight that’s required in U.S. labs, and how some of these foreign labs are in countries without any laws or policies protecting animal in labs.”

The GAO audit found that “NIH should strengthen oversight of projects it funds at foreign facilities.”

“We recommended that NIH take steps, such as visiting foreign facilities, to ensure that it has reliable information about the welfare of the animals used in research that it funds,” the GAO wrote.

According to their findings, the NIH does not require foreign animal labs to abide by U.S. laws and policies, exempts foreign labs from having legally-mandated animal lab oversight committees, does not require foreign animal labs to report abuses and violations, has no system to verify the accuracy of self-reported information from foreign animal labs, and has never inspected a single foreign animal lab in its 38 years of animal welfare oversight.

The GAO report notes that WCW is suing the NIH to close an illegal loophole that exempts foreign animal labs from having federally-mandated animal experimentation oversight committees.

Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight & Accountability, said in a statement provided to Timcast News that the NIH failure to “police how tax dollars are spent in foreign animal testing labs” is “a threat to national security.”

“Billions of American tax dollars are flowing from the NIH to foreign animal labs like the Wuhan Institute of Virology with virtually no accountability or transparency. NIH’s failure to properly police how tax dollars are spent in foreign animal testing labs is alarming and a threat to national security. I’ll continue fighting to ensure NIH doesn’t give foreign labs a free pass to break U.S. laws, waste money, and abuse animals.”

Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, said in a statement provided to Timcast News that “taxpayer dollars given to the NIH should not be used for obsolete and unnecessary medical testing.”

“As this GAO report makes clear, more oversight is necessary to ensure that animals are being treated humanely and the agency is operating as effectively as possible,” Rep. Fitzpatrick continued. “I have always proudly supported the protection of animals and look forward to continuing to work in partnership with my colleagues in Congress on these issues.”

Justin Goodman, Senior Vice President of WCW, told Timcast News that “taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill for foreign labs’ dangerous, cruel, and wasteful animal experiments in Wuhan and beyond.”

“Our Worldwide Waste investigation first exposed how the NIH ships over $100 million annually to foreign white coats, including taxpayer money to the Wuhan lab for dangerous gain-of-function animal experiments that likely caused a lab leak and COVID, to a Kremlin-linked lab crippling cats in treadmill experiments, and to a Fauci-funded Tunisian lab feeding beagle puppies to sand flies,” Goodman said.

“We also uncovered and are suing the NIH over an illegal loophole that exempts the 340-plus foreign animal labs it funds from vital oversight,” Goodman continued. “The GAO’s historic new audit was prompted by our investigations and confirms our findings that the NIH is funneling billions to foreign animal labs with little oversight of how animals are treated and how our money is being spent. Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill for foreign labs’ dangerous, cruel, and wasteful animal experiments in Wuhan and beyond.”

Goodman concluded, “our message to Congress is simple: Stop the money. Stop the madness!”

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