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NIH Spent $140 Million On Animal Testing In Foreign Countries Last Year, Watchdog Group Finds

(Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent an estimated $140 million in fiscal year 2020 on animal testing in foreign countries, according to a new report from a taxpayer watchdog organization.

The NIH funded labs in at least 29 foreign countries and as many as 357 labs in 57 countries are eligible for American taxpayer dollars, according to the report from White Coat Waste (WCW). Among the countries with eligible labs are Russia and China, including the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology, the lab at the center of the COVID-19 lab-leak theory.

“It’s indefensible that the NIH is shipping tens of millions of tax dollars overseas to animal testing labs and schools in foreign countries that don’t need our money, like the UK, or shouldn’t get it, like China,” said WCW president Anthony Bellotti. “Most U.S. taxpayers don’t want to pay for wasteful government spending like this, and we’ve launched a historic campaign to find, expose, and defund it.”

The WCW report highlights a number of bizarre experiments, such as the University of London-Queen Mary in the United Kingdom addicting zebrafish to nicotine and ecstasy. That project received $428,249 from the NIH in 2020 and has received $1,136,715 since 2018, according to the report. (RELATED: Scientist Recovers Deleted Wuhan Lab Data From NIH Database Suggesting COVID-19 Circulated Before Wet Market Outbreak)

In Chile, the University of Santiago reportedly received $166,212 from the NIH last year to teach mice to get drunk in the dark. McMaster University in Canada has cashed in on more than $2 million from the NIH since 2015 to force-feed human feces to mice, before restraining them two hours a day, measuring their anxiety, killing them and dissecting them, according to WCW.

Nigeria’s University of Lagos fed high-salt diets to pregnant rats to study the effects it had on the health of their babies. The NIH reportedly sent them $97,738 in 2020 for their efforts. (RELATED: ‘Lack Of Chinese Transparency’ Was Ultimate ‘Source Of Death’ In Pandemic, Expert Tells House Republicans)

A number of Republican lawmakers have called on the NIH to stop funding labs overseas, such as the Wuhan Institute of Virology. “Big government spending is out of control when millions of taxpayer dollars are being sent to dangerous bio-agent labs in China and to other foreign countries to conduct risky experiments, many times harmful trials involving animals,” said Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Fred Keller. “To stop government waste and protect national security, we need answers about why the National Institute of Health is spending our tax dollars on questionable research overseas.”

NIH funding of overseas animal experiments has come under increased scrutiny since public opinion shifted in favor of the lab-leak theory of COVID-19 origin in recent months. An expert panel recently told House Republicans they believe it is “highly likely” that COVID-19 originated from the Wuhan lab.