Is Anyone Home? NIH Doles Out $300 Million With Zero Accountability

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Is anyone minding the store at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)? According to testimony from its most recent former director, Francis Collins, the answer is a big fat NO.

Collins testified before a congressional subcommittee that he has no idea how, or even if, foreign laboratories seeking U.S. money to fund animal experiments are vetted by anyone at NIH—or any other government entity—before the agency sends them fistfuls of taxpayer dollars—up to $300 million each year.

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In other words, the government has admitted what PETA has been saying ever since we uncovered an NIH-funded South American “laboratory” where monkeys were kept outdoors in filthy cages under a tarp while the directors committed fraud for financial gain, bilking the agency out of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

The transcript of Collins’ testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, was recently published, and you can read the incriminating bits between lines 877 and 927. Here’s an excerpt:

Q: Again, what we’re trying to figure out is if, like, you get a proposal that has a foreign lab on it, if NIH would do all the work themselves, or if they would call the State Department, or if they would call some other department to try to determine if that foreign lab is reputable.

Collins: I don’t know.

Stunning ignorance from a man who was at the helm of a government agency for 12 years with a $49 billion annual budget.

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Testimony from Lawrence Tabak, NIH’s deputy director, was no better. The takeaway? The agency continues to spend taxpayers’ money irresponsibly.

U.S. taxpayers, animals subjected to abuse and exploitation, and the integrity of medical research demand swift action to rectify these systemic failures.

That’s why Congress must take immediate action to end such waste by passing the Cease Animal Research Grants Overseas (CARGO) Act, introduced by Reps. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Troy Nehls (R-Texas). This commonsense, bipartisan legislation is crucial to halting the waste of taxpayer money, preventing cruelty to animals, and promoting ethical research practices.

What You Can Do

If you’re a U.S. resident, please urge your U.S. representative to support the CARGO Act today:

Support the CARGO Act

Dog, rabbit, and monkey stamp with words "CARGO ACT, HR 4757" with colorful background

And everyone can help end NIH’s funding of cruel and useless sepsis experiments on mice:

End Pointless Sepsis Experiments

nih mouse mascot with blue background

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