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The Real Planet of the Apes

PCRM Launches a New Web Campaign as Hollywood Film Makers Embrace the Plight of Chimpanzees

Dear PCRM Legislative Focus supporter,

The summer is here, Congress is out and movies are in! Project Nim and Rise of the Planet of the Apes are bringing the plight of chimpanzees used in medical research to cinemas across the country. So we've launched a new petition campaign entitled the "The REAL Planet of the Apes" to build momentum and push the National Institutes of Health to end the use of chimpanzees in invasive research in the U.S. once and for all.

Please ask as many of your friends as possible to visit and sign the petition to NIH Director, Francis Collins. For those of you wondering, YES, every signature counts! I shall use the petition to show Washington what national support there is to end the use of great apes in invasive medical research.

PCRM recently hosted a screening of Project Nim in Washington, DC. The film's award-winning director, James Marsh, describes, "In the film, we get to know an individual chimpanzee whose baffled reaction to his increasing confinement can stand for the many, many thousands of chimpanzees…who find themselves under our control in the same or worse situation."

Project Nim is the dramatic true story about a young chimpanzee who was raised as a human in a misguided research project and later finds himself in a medial research lab. The film raises important questions about the ethics and science of animal research. PCRM has been working to end this use of chimpanzees through the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, and we are hopeful that this film could galvanize support for this legislation.

The film and our screening received terrific press coverage. You can read one of the stories here. After the film, I hosted a panel discussion on the themes of the film and how it applies to our legislative work, specifically the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is a chilling parable that raises similar questions about animal research. PCRM has been working to expose the real story of what happens to chimpanzees in research labs and again, I ask you to please share our new PCRM web campaign site with your friends on Facebook and Twitter (#PlanetOfTheApes & #RealPlanetOfTheApes).

Thank you as always for your continued passion and support of our efforts!

Elizabeth Kucinich
Elizabeth Kucinich
Director of Government and Public Affairs

Marking our Progress: Our Fight to Improve Troop Training and End the Use of Animals in Military Medical Training

Goat used in military training.

This summer PCRM was successful in persuading Congress to hold the Department of Defense more accountable for this cruel and unnecessary animal use for substandard troop training. Language in this year's Defense Authorization Act, a huge bill that authorizes all of the Department of Defense's activities, has instructed the Secretary of Defense to "implement a strategy for the development of future technology to further refine, reduce, and replace the use of live animals in medical education and training."

Earlier this year, we worked with Congressman Bob Filner (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to re-introduce H.R. 1417, the BEST Practices Act, a bill that requires the DOD to phase-out this terminal use of animals and replace them with high-fidelity medical simulation.

Are you interested in what troops should be learning with, instead of live animals? Watch a video demonstration of these alternative methods here. Please be aware: some of the alternatives are so realistic, the demonstrations can be difficult to watch!

We have seen great progress on this issue in the 112th Congress. So far, the BEST Practices Act has amassed 34 cosponsors, already exceeding the total from all of last Congress. If your member of Congress is not yet a cosponsor, please send an e-mail today and help save goats and pigs from unnecessary pain, suffering, and death.

Legislation Introduced to Eliminate Direct Subsidies!

Subsidies Pie Chart

I know you have been following our campaign against the government’s spending of billions of taxpayer dollars on agricultural subsidies that support production of unhealthy meat and dairy products. We have been sharing our report that demonstrates how the farm subsidy system overwhelmingly favors meat and dairy production on Capitol Hill, and it appears that they are beginning to listen.

Last month, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced the Reducing the Deficit through Eliminating Agriculture Direct Payments, or REAPS Act (H.R. 2487), which will permanently end direct payments.

Passage of this legislation would end these government handouts for the meat and dairy industries, so please contact your member of Congress today and ask that they sign onto this important legislation.

Victory: 120 Rats Saved, Redundant Tests Canceled

Federal Agency News: The PCRM toxicology team has spared 120 rats from a painful death in a chemical neurotoxicity test with an insecticide called Tau-fluvalinate.

The Environmental Protection Agency regulates pesticides by requesting companies conduct tests on their products, both before and sometimes after a pesticide has been registered. Many of these tests involve large numbers of animals. PCRM monitors EPA testing requests and often submits information or arguments to convince the EPA to rescind the requirements. Comments might consist of existing information the EPA had not found, an alternative test, or a combination of the two that will give the EPA similar information.

In the case of Tau-fluvalinate, EPA was requiring a neurotoxicity test using at least 120 young male and female rats. PCRM submitted information that was similar to what the EPA might have gotten had the producer conducted the test, so the EPA cancelled the test.

We continue to monitor several bills dealing with chemical testing including the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 (S. 847) and the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 (H.R.2359). Although both bills contain a promising section on animal testing alternatives, ultimately these bills could greatly increase animal use. We are working to educate legislators on needed improvements for moving science and animal protection forward. With the help of supporters like you, we will work to transform these bills into effective legislation that will keep both consumers and animals safe.

Learn more about this issue here >>


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The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's effective policy work on behalf of members of the medical and scientific community and concerned citizens has established us as leaders in promoting responsible food policies, modernizing research methods, and elevating ethical research standards.

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Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste.400, Washington DC, 20016
Phone: 202-686-2210 Email: