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Animals Beheaded for Blueberries: USDA ‘Farmer Tax’ Funding Horrific and Deadly Animal Experiments

OXFORD, MS – AUGUST 6, 1976: Anesthetized white rat is injected with Tetrodotoxin neurotoxin in laboratory at the University of Mississippi as study on pain relief in Oxford, Mississippi, August 6, 1976. Tetrodotoxin, a potent neurotoxin, has pharmacological potential as a drug is from a marine bacteria microorganisms. Biologists measure the rodent’s blood pressure and EKG in this experiment with animal testing. Tetrodotoxin is sometimes used to block pain in terminally ill patients. The Tetrodotoxin was collected from fish in the Caribbean Sea and subject to animal testing. (Photo by Nathan Benn/Corbis via Getty Images)

Experimenters fed rats blueberries, repeatedly injected them with a chemical, forced them to perform a series of stress- tests, and then killed and dissected them.

PETA: Experimenters are douching, poisoning, force-feeding, starving, radiating, bleeding, suffocating, beheading, and dissecting animals purportedly to market health claims about blueberries, watermelons, and other common foods to consumers. PETA has fired off a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue urging him to abolish what effectively amounts to a draconian “tax” on farmers who pay for these cruel tests and forever end this senseless bloodshed… More than 2,600 sensitive and intelligent mice, rats, and pigs were used in harmful and invasive tests funded by agricultural commodity R&P boards between 2015 and 2019.

Funding for these worthless and deadly experiments comes from a portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars in annual fees that farmers are required to pay to agricultural commodity research and promotion (R&P) boards, whose boards of directors are appointed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These fees—levied on farmers such as agricultural commodity producers, handlers, processers, importers, and others—totaled $885 million in 2016 alone, according to the Government Accountability Office. Many of the 21 R&P boards overseen by the USDA waste some of these fees paid by farmers on horrific experiments on animals for marketing agricultural commodities. Here are just a few:

The Mushroom Council bankrolled an experiment in which pigs were fed white button mushrooms, their anuses were repeatedly poked, their blood was taken, and they were killed and dissected; The National Processed Raspberry Council funded an experiment in which mice mated, the vaginas of the females were swabbed, the mice were fed a high-fat diet with an ingredient common in grapes and raspberries, some of the babies were killed;… The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council funded an experiment in which experimenters fed rats strawberries or blueberries, forced them to perform a series of stress-inducing psychomotor and cognitive tests… repeatedly injected them with a chemical, and killed and dissected them…

These agricultural products include commonplace items such as mushrooms, blueberries, and watermelons, which have a long and safe history of human consumption. Instead of torturing animals in crude experiments, researchers could have pursued safe and effective human studies and other advanced, non-animal methods, which would yield human-relevant results. These animal tests are neither applicable to humans nor required by law. Importantly, animals are scientifically unfit for human food research in part because of the vast physiological differences between species…

PETA’s letter to Perdue urges the USDA to prohibit the assessment fees paid by farmers from going toward animal experiments. “America’s farmers deserve better than to be ripped off by an exorbitant assessment fee, part of which is used by R&P boards to fund crude, wasteful, and misleading experiments on animals that don’t translate to useful results for humans,” the letter says… Animals are not laboratory equipment, and treating them as such supports speciesism—the belief that humans are inherently superior to other animals based solely on species membership. Please take action and help PETA keep up the pressure on the USDA and the R&P boards to prohibit gouging farmers with fees that fund animal testing that’s inhumane and junk science. SOURCE…

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