WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-MI) introduced the Accountability in Foreign Animal Research (AFAR) Act, which prevents U.S. tax dollars from being used to conduct or support research on vertebrate animals in foreign countries that are foreign adversaries. These nations are defined in a January 2021 interim final rule from the Department of Commerce, and include China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and the Maduro regime of Venezuela.
Despite their designation as “foreign adversaries,” Russia and China both operate labs that the NIH has allowed to receive tax dollars specifically for animal experimentation. Four labs in Russia and 27 labs in China are actively eligible to receive NIH funding, including the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“Our tax dollars should never go to countries that threaten our national security,” said Rep. McClain. “We’ve seen how dangerous it is for our tax dollars to fund research at the Wuhan Lab in China. This commonsense legislation ensures that failures, like those of the Wuhan Lab, will never happen again on our watch and with our taxpayers’ money.”
“We applaud Rep. McClain for introducing the AFAR Act, because taxpayer dollars should not fund wasteful and risky animal experiments in countries our own government considers to be adversaries. This commonsense proposal will benefit taxpayers and enhance national security,” said Justin Goodman, Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy at taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project.
Reps. Fred Keller (R-PA), Rick Allen (R-GA), Randy Weber (R-TX), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Bill Posey (R-FL), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Brian Mast (R-FL) and Yvette Herrell (R-NM) joined McClain as original cosponsors of the legislation.