PCRM Legislative Fund:
2010 Was a Very Good Year!
Dear PCRM Legislative Fund supporter,
The PCRM Legislative Fund accomplished so much in the past year.
In 2010, we established a reputation for taking a strong stand and presenting compelling arguments on issues that affect nutrition, animal research, and medical training policies.
We’ve earned this reputation by hosting briefings on Capitol Hill, holding over 250 meetings with legislators and their staff, driving powerful grassroots campaigns, and earning valuable media attention. We look forward to doing even more in 2011!
With your help, our hard work has paid off, and the month of December was no different. I’m pleased to announce our latest victory!
NASA Suspends Cruel Monkey Experiments
All year, we have worked to block NASA’s planned radiation experiments on live squirrel monkeys. These invasive experiments cause animals to suffer tremendously.
|April Evans and PCRM staff member Noah Gittell speak out on Capitol Hill against NASA's primate experiments.
In July, the PCRM LF team successfully campaigned for an amendment to the House of Representative’s version of the NASA Authorization Act, requiring justification for any future radiation research on primates. This amendment shined a spotlight on the wasteful nature of NASA’s plan to irradiate squirrel monkeys.
We also helped coordinate a successful briefing for congressional staff about NASA’s planned primate experiments. This briefing featured April Evans, a space engineer who resigned from her dream job at NASA because the agency refused to address her concerns about the experiment.
We also brought our message straight to the key decision-makers. Our expert staff worked behind the scenes with members of Congress and officials at the Department of Energy and the White House to urge them to pressure NASA to end these cruel and wasteful experiments. PCRM staffers even made several trips to Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), the facility in which the experiment was slated to occur, to present our case to the advisory council of local citizens, who were ultimately unable to recommend that the experiments go forward at BNL.
All the while, PCRM LF orchestrated media campaigns and grassroots efforts that allowed constituents to send a strong message to congressional members: Stop NASA’s squirrel monkey experiments.
Our hard work paid off.
This month, NASA’s squirrel monkey experiments were canceled!
Thank you. Your support has not only helped save monkeys from this misguided and cruel experiment, but together we have sent a powerful message to federal agencies: When deciding which experiments to fund, the interests of animals must be considered.
With your help, the PCRM LF team earned too many successes in 2010 to list in this newsletter, but below you’ll find some inspiring highlights.
Best wishes for the New Year,
Director of Government and Public Affairs
THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization
As Congress debated the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization this year, PCRM LF educated lawmakers about the importance of reducing fat and cholesterol in school lunches and of giving every child access to healthful vegetarian meals. The bill was signed into legislation just weeks ago.
Our involvement made it clear to federal policymakers that America’s health will continue to be ravaged by obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other diet-related diseases unless more is done to promote plant-based meals.
We worked with Congressman Polis (D-CO) to introduce H.R. 4870, the Healthy School Meals Act, a bill to encourage schools to serve more plant-based options. More than 70 members of Congress supported this legislation. We also held two briefings for members of Congress and staff, featuring Rep. Polis, actress Marilu Henner, athlete John Salley, doctors, and other speakers. Additionally, we held a Citizen Lobby Day, during which hundreds of PCRM supporters contacted their members of Congress to ask for plant-based options in schools.
Now that the Child Nutrition Act has been reauthorized, we have turned our attention to ensuring that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) helps schools access healthier options for meal programs. In this and other ways, we will continue to firmly push for better child health through plant-based school lunch options.
Department of Defense
Our campaign to end the use of live animals in military medical training exercises brought about the introduction of H.R. 4269, the BEST Practices Act, which would phase in human-based training methods and replace the use of live animals. PCRM will continue to address this issue in the 112th Congress and to pressure the Department of Defense to begin implementing alternatives.
In 2010, PCRM LF held an overwhelmingly successful congressional briefing with simulation experts who demonstrated human-based training methods. We spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of Members of Congress, their staff, and reporters.
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
PCRM LF successfully ensured that the chemical testing reform legislation incorporated language promoting the development and use of nonanimal test methods. This is an important step because the TSCA reform bill, in its current form, would require millions of additional animal tests in the coming years.
We were also invited to participate in a six-week Stakeholder Forum in the House of Representatives to help shape that chamber's version of TSCA reform legislation.
Great Ape Protection Act (GAPA)
The PCRM LF team arranged dozens of congressional meetings to help garner support for H.R. 1326, the House of Representatives’ version of GAPA, which had nearly 160 co-sponsors at the end of the session. We also helped to ensure that GAPA was introduced into the Senate with bipartisan support. This is a monumental step toward ending experiments on great apes, and puts us in a strategic position to push the legislation dramatically further in 2011.
PCRM LF also coordinated a joint event with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to call on USDA to stop the transfer of 186 chimpanzees into research. This effort continues to build momentum as more Members of Congress call for the retirement of these intelligent, sensitive animals.