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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE May 13, 2014

Hard-hitting Billboards Confront Texas A&M Over Alcohol Experiments on Unborn Lambs

Doctors Ask Sen. Ted Cruz to Halt the Wasteful Experiments


WASHINGTON—Two hard-hitting billboards have gone up near Texas A&M University criticize the use of sheep and unborn lambs in federally funded alcohol experiments at the university. The billboards, sponsored by the national nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, are scheduled to stay up until June 1.

Motorists headed toward Texas A&M University on South College Avenue near East Royal Street are confronted with the message: “Doctors Urge Sen. Ted Cruz: Shut down wasteful experiments on baby lambs at Texas A&M!” The second billboard is near Texas A&M on Wellborn Road, west side, 700 feet north of F&B Road.

“Some say that Ted Cruz shut down the entire government, and if he can do that, he can shut down these wasteful experiments in his own state,” says John J. Pippin, M.D., a Dallas-based cardiologist and director of academic affairs for Physicians Committee. “These experiments on sheep and unborn lambs do nothing to reduce the rate of alcohol-exposed infants.”

Physicians Committee is also filing a complaint against Texas A&M with the Texas Office for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities, which administers the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Collaborative. At Texas A&M, pregnant sheep are injected with alcohol in an attempt to simulate binge drinking in women. The sheep are killed, and the near-term lambs are removed so their brains can be dissected.

Two newspaper advertisements also appearing week of May 5 urge readers to contact  Sen. Ted Cruz: “Tweet: #StopWastingMyMoney on @TAMU alcohol experiments on sheep and baby lambs! @SenTedCruz” The government should fund only human-relevant research.

Appearing in the Houston Press and the Austin Chronicle, the ads address Sen. Cruz’s constituents: “If Sen. Ted Cruz can shut down the U.S. government, he can shut down the wasteful sheep experiments at Texas A&M. Can’t he?

Federally funded researchers at Texas A&M are injecting alcohol into pregnant sheep to see the effects of alcohol on the lambs’ brains. The mothers are killed, and the baby lambs are removed and dissected. We already know alcohol affects human brain development. Federal funding should be used for programs to help at-risk mothers.


Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Contact the Department of Health and Human Services

Ask HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to defund the alcohol experiments on sheep and unborn lambs.
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Media Contact:
Jeanne McVey, 202-527-7316;

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Refocusing Priorities in Alcohol Research - Report (PDF)

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