Congressmen Brendan Boyle (D-PA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) recently sent a bipartisan demand letter to Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to compel a thorough review of primate testing in federal laboratories. The letter asked Gottlieb to engage the Animal Welfare Council—an organization he recently formed to strengthen the FDA’s oversight of animal testing—to review, reduce, and replace primate testing in labs, with the intent of pointing the FDA commissioner to the rampant exploitation present within primate testing labs. Earlier this year, Gottlieb canceled nicotine addiction testing on primates at the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) and sent the animals to a sanctuary in Florida. The congressmen urged Gottlieb to take similar actions against remaining facilities that conduct primate testing in the United States. While recent Pew Research data showed that consumer opposition to animal testing is at an all-time low, the United States Department of Agriculture revealed in September that primate testing in the US is at an all-time high. “Painful primate testing is shameful, and it has no place in the 21st century,” Boyle told VegNews. “It’s no wonder most Americans oppose it. For years, I’ve worked to reduce cruel and ineffective government primate testing, but it’s clear that federal agencies are still not doing enough to curb this appalling practice, as is required by law. I will continue to fight against this abuse of animals, tax dollars, and Americans’ trust.” Animal-rights organization White Coat Waste Project launched a campaign in support of the congressmen’s FDA request, urging citizens to demand that Congress defund all federal agency labs that exploit primates.
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