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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.
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.
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.
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.
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Global Banks, Led by JPMorgan Chase, Invested $1.9 Trillion in Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Pact
By Sharon Kelly
A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.
By Patti Lynn
2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."
England faces an "existential threat" if it does not change how it manages its water, the head of the country's Environment Agency warned Tuesday.
By Jessica Corbett
A new analysis revealed Tuesday that over the past two decades heat records across the U.S. have been broken twice as often as cold ones—underscoring experts' warnings about the increasingly dangerous consequences of failing to dramatically curb planet-warming emissions.
By Madison Dapcevich
Ask any resident of San Francisco about the waterfront parrots, and they will surely tell you a story of red-faced conures squawking or dive-bombing between building peaks. Ask a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, however, and they will tell you of a mysterious string of neurological poisonings impacting the naturalized flock for decades.
The initial cause of the fire was not yet known, but it has been driven by the strong wind and jumped the North Santiam River, The Salem Statesman Journal reported. As of Tuesday night, it threatened around 35 homes and 30 buildings, and was 20 percent contained.
The unanimous verdict was announced Tuesday in San Francisco in the first federal case to be brought against Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, alleging that repeated use of the company's glyphosate-containing weedkiller caused the plaintiff's cancer. Seventy-year-old Edwin Hardeman of Santa Rosa, California said he used Roundup for almost 30 years on his properties before developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"Today's verdict reinforces what another jury found last year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people," Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement. "As similar lawsuits mount, the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe, and that the company has tried to cover it up."
Judge Vince Chhabria has split Hardeman's trial into two phases. The first, decided Tuesday, focused exclusively on whether or not Roundup use caused the plaintiff's cancer. The second, to begin Wednesday, will assess if Bayer is liable for damages.
"We are disappointed with the jury's initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer," Bayer spokesman Dan Childs said in a statement reported by The Guardian. "We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer."
Some legal experts said that Chhabria's decision to split the trial was beneficial to Bayer, Reuters reported. The company had complained that the jury in Johnson's case had been distracted by the lawyers' claims that Monsanto had sought to mislead scientists and the public about Roundup's safety.
However, a remark made by Chhabria during the trial and reported by The Guardian was blatantly critical of the company.
"Although the evidence that Roundup causes cancer is quite equivocal, there is strong evidence from which a jury could conclude that Monsanto does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about the issue," he said.
Many regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have ruled that glyphosate is safe for humans, but the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer found it was "probably carcinogenic to humans" in 2015. A university study earlier this year found that glyphosate use increased cancer risk by as much as 41 percent.
Hardeman's lawyers Jennifer Moore and Aimee Wagstaff said they would now reveal Monsanto's efforts to mislead the public about the safety of its product.
"Now we can focus on the evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup," they wrote in a statement reported by The Guardian.
Hardeman's case is considered a "bellwether" trial for the more than 760 glyphosate cases Chhabria is hearing. In total, there are around 11,200 such lawsuits pending in the U.S., according to Reuters.
University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told Reuters that Tuesday's decision showed that the verdict in Johnson's case was not "an aberration," and could possibly predict how future juries in the thousands of pending cases would respond.