TVC Offers NIH Budget As First Cut For The Supercommittee

The following letter was released to the Joint Select Committee and other Members of Congress the morning before the October 26th public hearing to identify specific cuts to the federal budget.  The bipartisan "supercommittee" is charged with identifying over $1.5 trillion in waste in the budget.

Dear Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSC):

Our nation is broke!

If Congress is truly looking for ways to cut billions of dollars from the federal budget, they must include the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Traditional Values Coalition has identified in a brief search over half a billion dollars in wasteful spending at NIH. Here is a sample of what we have released so far, but there is much more:

  • At least $9.4 million for a 10-year study that included a survey of gay men to determine average penis sizes, " better understand the real individual-level consequences of living in a penis-centered society."
  • $154,500 spent asking individuals to mail in their toenails in an effort to research how much toenail nicotine is present versus saliva swabbing, at a cost of $154.50 per batch of toenails.
  • $163,500 spent seeking to explain the “drug-using and sexual behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM) during a circuit party [orgy].”
  • $1.2 million spent since 2003 trying to find out whether a mother rat, if given cocaine, will abandon her babies. 
  • $472,286 to study subway noise through 500 written questionnaires collected (that’s $944 per questionnaire) for the purposes of outlining further research on subway noise and its effects among New Your City subway riders. 

While the Chinese government holds $1.137 trillion of our national debt (as of August 2011), the federal government through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) continues to subsidize and aid the Chinese government with grants that many Americans would find misplaced, and in a few cases, highly objectionable:

  • $2 million for Chinese and American scientists to develop a vaccine against parasites that affect water buffalo, snails and about 1 million Chinese citizens.
  • $189,072 to train a Chinese researcher in acupuncture/fMRI technology at an American university, who then conducted acupuncture sessions in China.
  • More than $3.5 million towards teaching and credentialing Chinese scientists to increase the capacities of the Chinese Center for Disease Control (CCDC).
  • $367,686 spent focusing on the lives of female prostitutes in southwestern China, studying whether “women become FSWs (female sex workers) in order to pay for their drugs, or do they become drug users after they become FSWs?”
  • $17,542,162 spent on a study in the Yunnan province of China on behalf of the Chinese Centers for Disease Control (CDC) focusing on 420 prostitutes and 241 of their clients, including research on prostitutes as young as 14 years old.
  • Overall, $30 million has been awarded to Chinese scientists working at Chinese universities and institutions to research Chinese medical issues -- with more than $90 million going to the Chinese government over the last decade.

Yet after months of investigations and press reports, the NIH continues to ignore and refuses to reform these alarming irregularities regarding its funding of specific research done in the name of science -- research that is truly worrisome to the American taxpayer and offensive to many American families.

Not only does this “research” impress many as wasteful, in some instances there is a gross concern that it violates the spirit of both the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR 46) and the Helsinki Accords with regards to human rights and the violation of ethical norms.

Traditional Values Coalition believes that economic security is a moral issue. We must protect future generations. To that end, NO department or government or agency should be considered a sacred cow in this process. Members of Congress need to be fully aware of the waste and abuse of taxpayer funds being conducted by the National Institutes of Health.

If Congress is looking for areas in the federal budget where there is fat, Traditional Values Coalition readily points towards the half billion in waste already identified in the NIH budget -- which is just the tip of this iceberg.


Andrea Lafferty
Traditional Values Coalition


cc: Members of Congress