CLSA Successfully Leads Coalition to Defeat Bill Impacting Researcher Safety

By Oliver Rocroi
April 18, 2019

With the help of a broad coalition reflecting every segment of our membership, CLSA was instrumental in defeating a bill, Assembly Bill 889, that would have established an on-line publicly searchable database of California researchers conducting animal research.

Example of CLSA’s AB 889 Digital Campaign Ad

By re-framing the debate to focus on the privacy and safety concerns of the many facilities, academic and research centers, and even the private residences of researchers that have been targeted by extremist groups, CLSA was able to convincingly argue that the legislation created more harm than good.

When first introduced, the measure deleted a key provision in state law stating that public health and welfare depend on the humane use of animals for scientific research and education.  This created quite a stir given FDA requirements for animal studies in pre-clinical drug and device approvals and the impact on California’s world class academic and research facilities.

The reporting, application, and approval framework proposed by AB 889 would have been a substantial regulatory burden on California’s biomedical researchers, providing information already available through other sources for much of the research conducted.

California’s research ecosystem is central to a life sciences industry with 958,000 jobs in direct, indirect, and induced employment in the state of California. Furthermore, for 2018, California received more grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than any other state at 8,362 grants, totaling over $4.2 billion, which was one billion more dollars in grants than the next highest state (Massachusetts).

We are happy to report that thanks to active advocacy and a coordinated social and traditional media campaign, the author decided to hold the bill last week, effectively stopping it for the year. It may be possible for the sponsors to bring forward similar legislation next year, and CLSA will continue to proactively educate legislators and staff about the importance of academic and biotech research, as well as existing reporting requirements.

Questions? Please contact Oliver Rocroi, CLSA’s Vice President of State Government Relations ( or Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Senior Director of Policy & Regulatory Affairs (