36 Beagles Could Die if DowDuPont Pesticide Test Isn’t Stopped, Investigation Reveals
The beagles' potential fate was only one of several shocking revelations uncovered by an almost 100-day HSUS investigation into the testing of beagles and hounds at Charles River Laboratories in Michigan.
"The disturbing findings at this facility are sadly not unique. Experiments are happening at hundreds of laboratories each year throughout the country, with more than 60,000 dogs suffering. But that does not have to be the fate for these 36 beagles," HSUS President and CEO Kitty Block said in the press release.
Dow AgroSciences is conducting a one-year pesticides test on 36 beagles! This cruel & unnecessary test includes the… https://t.co/3erhO6V509— The Humane Society of the United States (@The Humane Society of the United States)1552399279.0
The beagles are being used in a test by Corteva Agriscience™, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, to assess a new fungicide called Adavelt®. They are being force-fed the fungicide via gelatin capsules for one year, and will be killed in July 2019 to assess damage unless the test is stopped. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used to require that fungicide be tested on dogs for one year, but abandoned the requirement a decade ago after scientists said it did not give useful information, HSUS explained in the investigation report.
However, the test is still technically required by Brazil's Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA), which is why DowDuPont told HSUS they were conducting it. HSUS said it had received an email from ANVISA saying it would grant waivers to companies wishing to be exempt from the test. HSUS also asked for and received a formal, written confirmation of the policy. But DowDuPont's regulatory affairs division said that it needed confirmation from ANVISA on its product specifically, according to HSUS.
"For months we have been urging Dow to end the unnecessary test and release the dogs to us. We have gone to considerable lengths to assist the company in doing so, but we simply cannot wait any longer; every single day these caged dogs are being poisoned and are one day closer to being killed. We must turn to the public to join us in urging Dow to stop the test immediately and to work with us to get these dogs into suitable homes," Block said.
DowDuPont, for its part, released a statement saying it had been working with HSUS to persuade ANVISA to scrap the test requirement, and would stop the test as soon as the Brazilian agency confirmed it had done so.
"Animal testing is not something Dow undertakes lightly, but neither is it something the Company can discontinue when it is required by regulatory authorities," DowDuPont said.
Please read our statement in response to the report published today by the Humane Society of the United States. https://t.co/kyNsPlSPzR— Dow (@Dow)1552418715.0
In addition to the fungicide tests, the HSUS investigation, which ran from April to August 2018, uncovered other incidents including tests by Paredox Therapeutics and Above and Beyond NB LLC. The press release summarized the findings:
Among the beagles tested on, the Humane Society of the United States documented the horrible short life of one dog named Harvey who clearly sought attention by humans and was characterized by the laboratory staff as "a good boy."
Harvey was being used to test the safety of two substances when poured into the chest cavity in a study commissioned by Paredox Therapeutics. Hounds were also used when the protocol called for a larger dog breed, such as a study by Above and Beyond Therapeutics for surgical implantation of a device to pump drugs through the spinal canal. Charles River carried out tests on dogs for at least 25 companies during the time of the Humane Society of the United States investigation.
The HSUS is working to replace animal testing with more effective ways of assessing the harms and benefits of substances. It said that 95 percent of human drug tests fail even after promising animal results.
"We must bring science into the 21st century for the benefit of humans who desperately need treatment and for the dogs whose lives deserve to be spared," the investigation concluded.
Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Wants to End #EPA’s Cruel Animal Testing https://t.co/2ZdesQ1TbR @peta @AnimalPlanet— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1534878021.0
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the University of Vermont supported the Paredox Therapeutics study. The post has been changed with the updated information from the Humane Society of the United States. Additionally, the article has been updated to reflect the fact that the fungicide test is being conducted by Corteva Agriscience™, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, not Dow AgroSciences, according to the companies updated statement.
Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
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By D. André Green II
One of nature's epic events is underway: Monarch butterflies' fall migration. Departing from all across the United States and Canada, the butterflies travel up to 2,500 miles to cluster at the same locations in Mexico or along the Pacific Coast where their great-grandparents spent the previous winter.
Millions of People Care About Monarchs<p>I will never forget the sights and sounds the first time I visited monarchs' overwintering sites in Mexico. Our guide pointed in the distance to what looked like hanging branches covered with dead leaves. But then I saw the leaves flash orange every so often, revealing what were actually thousands of tightly packed butterflies. The monarchs made their most striking sounds in the Sun, when they burst from the trees in massive fluttering plumes or landed on the ground in the tussle of mating.</p><p>Decades of educational outreach by teachers, researchers and hobbyists has cultivated a generation of monarch admirers who want to help preserve this phenomenon. This global network has helped restore not only monarchs' summer breeding habitat by planting milkweed, but also general pollinator habitat by planting nectaring flowers across North America.</p><p>Scientists have calculated that restoring the monarch population to a stable level of about 120 million butterflies will require <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/icad.12198" target="_blank">planting 1.6 billion new milkweed stems</a>. And they need them fast. This is too large a target to achieve through grassroots efforts alone. A <a href="https://www.fws.gov/savethemonarch/CCAA.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">new plan</a>, announced in the spring of 2020, is designed to help fill the gap.</p>
Pros and Cons of Regulation<p>The top-down strategy for saving monarchs gained energy in 2014, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service <a href="https://www.fws.gov/southeast/pdf/petition/monarch.pdf" target="_blank">proposed</a> listing them as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. A decision is expected in December 2020.</p><p>Listing a species as endangered or threatened <a href="https://www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/pdf/listing.pdf" target="_blank">triggers restrictions</a> on "taking" (hunting, collecting or killing), transporting or selling it, and on activities that negatively affect its habitat. Listing monarchs would impose restrictions on landowners in areas where monarchs are found, over vast swaths of land in the U.S.</p><p>In my opinion, this is not a reason to avoid a listing. However, a "threatened" listing might inadvertently threaten one of the best conservation tools that we have: public education.</p><p>It would severely restrict common practices, such as rearing monarchs in classrooms and back yards, as well as scientific research. Anyone who wants to take monarchs and milkweed for these purposes would have to apply for special permits. But these efforts have had a multigenerational educational impact, and they should be protected. Few public campaigns have been more successful at raising awareness of conservation issues.</p>
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="91165203d4ec0efc30e4632a00fdf57d"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KilPRvjbMrA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
The Rescue Attempt<p>To preempt the need for this kind of regulation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved a <a href="https://www.fws.gov/savethemonarch/pdfs/Monarch%20CCAA-CCA%20Public%20Comment%20Documents/Monarch-Nationwide_CCAA-CCA_Draft.pdf" target="_blank">Nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement for Monarch Butterflies</a>. Under this plan, "rights-of-way" landowners – energy and transportation companies and private owners – commit to restoring and creating millions of acres of pollinator habitat that have been decimated by land development and herbicide use in the past half-century.</p><p>The agreement was spearheaded by the <a href="http://rightofway.erc.uic.edu/" target="_blank">Rights-of-Way Habitat Working Group</a>, a collaboration between the University of Illinois Chicago's <a href="https://erc.uic.edu/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Energy Resources Center</a>, the Fish and Wildlife Service and over 40 organizations from the energy and transportation sectors. These sectors control "rights-of-way" corridors such as lands near power lines, oil pipelines, railroad tracks and interstates, all valuable to monarch habitat restoration.</p><p>Under the plan, partners voluntarily agree to commit a percentage of their land to host protected monarch habitat. In exchange, general operations on their land that might directly harm monarchs or destroy milkweed will not be subject to the enhanced regulation of the Endangered Species Act – protection that would last for 25 years if monarchs are listed as threatened. The agreement is expected to create up to 2.3 million acres of new protected habitat, which ideally would avoid the need for a "threatened" listing.</p>
A Model for Collaboration<p>This agreement could be one of the few specific interventions that is big enough to allow researchers to quantify its impact on the size of the monarch population. Even if the agreement produces only 20% of its 2.3 million acre goal, this would still yield nearly half a million acres of new protected habitat. This would provide a powerful test of the role of declining breeding and nectaring habitat compared to other challenges to monarchs, such as climate change or pollution.</p><p>Scientists hope that data from this agreement will be made publicly available, like projects in the <a href="https://www.fws.gov/savethemonarch/MCD.html" target="_blank">Monarch Conservation Database</a>, which has tracked smaller on-the-ground conservation efforts since 2014. With this information we can continue to develop powerful new models with better accuracy for determining how different habitat factors, such as the number of milkweed stems or nectaring flowers on a landscape scale, affect the monarch population.</p><p>North America's monarch butterfly migration is one of the most awe-inspiring feats in the natural world. If this rescue plan succeeds, it could become a model for bridging different interests to achieve a common conservation goal.</p>
The annual Ig Nobel prizes were awarded Thursday by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research for scientific experiments that seem somewhat absurd, but are also thought-provoking. This was the 30th year the awards have been presented, but the first time they were not presented at Harvard University. Instead, they were delivered in a 75-minute pre-recorded ceremony.