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Press Releases, Recent News, and Media Mentions

Selected Press Releases and Media Advisories

February 21, 2024
Phoenix Zones Initiative and the George Washington University Law School Partner to Deliver Congressional Briefing
Phoenix Zones Initiative’s president, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, along with Dean Kathy Hessler, Assistant Dean of Animal Law at the George Washington University Law School, will lead an in-person briefing to discuss the state of medicine, science, and the law as it relates to Congressional oversight of human and animal research.

Background image of UN Member flags, with text about ECOSOC granting PZI special consultative status

August 9, 2023
Phoenix Zones Initiative Granted Special Consultative Status with UN Economic and Social Council
The UN has granted Phoenix Zones Initiative special consultative status with its Economic and Social Council, which will enable Phoenix Zones Initiative to provide guidance, leadership, collaboration, and expertise to the UN and its subsidiary bodies.

April 5, 2023
PZI President Speaks at Key UN Member States Meeting about the Interdependence of Animal Welfare, the Environment, and Sustainable Development
PZI’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, presented to the UN Member States for their meeting focused on the UNEA 5 resolution on the nexus between animal welfare, the environment, and sustainable development. Dr. Ferdowsian discussed the importance of centering a Just One Health approach to policy and practice.

April 4, 2023
Pandemic Prevention Satellite Session Media Advisory
On April 13, Phoenix Zones Initiative’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, along with other experts, will lead an in-person satellite session on pandemic prevention in Washington, DC, as part of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Conference on Pandemic Prevention. Attendees will learn about addressing current gaps in global policy and the root causes of pandemic risk, as well as expanding on the science and evidence-driven policy measures to create an effective pathway to prevent pandemics.

January 23, 2023
Congressional Briefing Media Advisory
On January 30, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, a physician, and president of Phoenix Zones Initiative, led a panel of experts in science and ethics will brief Congressional policy makers on transforming medical research and advancing science and ethics.

June 28, 2022
NGO Major Group Calls on Sustainable Development Goals to Prioritize the Rights, Health, and Wellbeing of People, Animals, and the Environment
Phoenix Zones Initiative is part of the NGO Major Group, which has released a new position paper urging world leaders to embed the rights, health, and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that the SDGs fully succeed.

May 18, 2022
Medical and Public Health Professionals Call on World Health Organization to Advance Pandemic Prevention Treaty: International Instrument Could Help Prevent the Next Pandemic
Phoenix Zones Initiative and other medical and public health professionals have called upon the World Health Organization (WHO) to advance a justice-centered international instrument that would prevent the next pandemic. Phoenix Zones Initiative’s open letter encourages decision makers to maintain a focus on primary prevention, including efforts to reduce the risk for the emergence of novel animal-borne pathogens.

May 16, 2022
FDA Modernization Act Clears Important Subcommittee Changing One Word Could Help Revolutionize Modern Medical Research
Phoenix Zones Initiative applauds the US House Subcommittee on Health for unanimously passing the FDA Modernization Act, which would eliminate the Food and Drug Administration’s Depression-era requirement for animal testing in the preclinical phase of drug development. When passed, this act will significantly move the needle to modernize medical research.

March 2, 2022
Phoenix Zones Initiative CEO Joins New One Health Journal as Senior Editor: New International Journal Focuses on Health of People, Animals, and the Planet
Phoenix Zones Initiative President Dr. Hope Ferdowsian has joined as senior editor for CABI One Health, a new international open access journal focused on the interconnected health of humans, other animals, and the natural world on which we all depend. Dr. Ferdowsian hopes serving on the editorial board will help embolden international efforts to push forward legal, economic, and public policies that benefit the most vulnerable and marginalized.

February 2, 2022
Biomedical Research Must Evolve into the 21st Century: An Esteemed Group of Scientists and Public Health Officials Are Calling for Dramatic Changes to Medical Research Methods
An esteemed group of experts from the fields of medicine, ethics, the sciences, and public health have outlined an innovative and revolutionary roadmap to a more ethical research framework for humans and other animals. They discussed the existing problems and potential solutions in a recent virtual event hosted by Phoenix Zones Initiative.

January 19, 2022
More Than 192 Million Animals Are Used Each Year for Laboratory Research: Virtual Event Will Create a Roadmap Toward More Ethical, Human-Centered Medical Research Methods
In the US, almost any species of animal can be used in research, and almost anything can be done to them in the name of science. Fortunately, there are more ethical and relevant research tools and methods that can be used to study diseases and potential life-saving therapies. Phoenix Zones Initiative is hosting a groundbreaking virtual event to transform medical research on Thursday, January 27, 2022. A panel of experts will share how we can create a framework for more modern, ethical research practices that benefit humans and other animals.

January 4, 2022
The Time is Now to Transform Medical Research for Humans and Animals: Expert Panel Charts a New Course for Modern, Ethical Research
Phoenix Zones Initiative will host a revolutionary virtual event, Transforming Medical Research: Advancing Modern, Ethical Methods to Help People and Animals, on Thursday, January 27, 2022, at 7 pm EST/4 pm PST. The event will feature a group of esteemed experts from fields such as medicine, ethics, the sciences, and public health, who will help chart a path and make recommendations for more modern and more ethical research practices. 

Recent News and Opinion Pieces

April 30, 2024 (MSNBC)
The Bird Flu is Uncontrolled, and It Keeps Showing Up in the Scariest Places
Dr. Hope Ferdowsian and Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Baur provide a cautionary warning about highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu), now found in multiple species of birds and mammals—including humans.

Avian flu

April 15, 2024 (We Animals Media)
Avian Flu in the Era of Big Ag
Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur and human rights and global public health physician Dr. Hope Ferdowsian draw upon their collective experiences across six continents to detail the dangers of Big Ag to people, animals, and the planet.

February 1, 2024 (AMA Journal of Ethics)
How One Health Instrumentalizes Nonhuman Animals
Phoenix Zones Initiative’s president, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, and her colleagues interrogate how many One Health approaches instrumentalize nonhuman animals at the expense of people, animals, and the planet. They argue for a rights-based, just One Health approach that recognizes that the root causes of diseases should be identified and addressed via policies and actions that challenge exploitation.

July 20, 2023 (Austin Chronicle)
Now Is Not the Time to Loosen Child Labor Regulations–Especially in Dangerous Industries
Phoenix Zones Initiative’s president, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, highlights why we should be concerned about the recent shift in child labor policy in the US, how it increases harm to both people and animals, and why we need to advocate for legislative and other policy changes that protect and uplift vulnerable individuals and populations.

June 1, 2023 (AMA Journal of Ethics®)
Healthy Conversation about Meat?
Phoenix Zones Initiative’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, and colleagues Dr. Jessica Pierce (primary author), Dr. Marc Bekoff, Dr. L. Syd M Johnson, and Dr. Barbara J. King have written a response to the AMA Journal of Ethics® about their decision to publish an inaccurate essay about how cows are raised and slaughtered for food. The authors call for evidence-based and ethically consistent dialogue on issues that affect public health. Publishing such an essay, they note, “is irresponsible from a clinical and public health point of view, as well as in light of the profound threat of climate change, and it carries serious negative implications for animal wellbeing.”

April 6, 2023 (CABI One Health Cases)
Just One Health Project ECHO: Advancing Health and Justice
In this case study, Phoenix Zones Initiative’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, and other members of the Phoenix Zones Initiative team summarize the creation, implementation, evaluation, and impact of an educational training and mentorship program centered on a socially and ecologically just One Health (Just One Health) framework, using the Project ECHO platform.

March 15, 2023 (CABI One Health)
A Silent Call for a Socially and Ecologically Just One Health Approach
In this commentary, Phoenix Zones Initiative’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, illustrates the need for a socially and ecologically just One Health approach to addressing and preventing global challenges; she also highlights the importance to global wellbeing of ensuring a right to health for both people and animals.

January 24, 2023 (Harvard Public Health)
“Silent Spring” Still Holds Lessons for Keeping the Planet, and Ourselves, Healthy
In this essay, Phoenix Zones Initiative’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, uses the example of how Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring inspired a revolution to highlight the need for a new revolution grounded in an ecological view of health.

November 4, 2022 (Medium)
Addressing the Harms of Animal Research: What Role Might Journals Play?
This post includes the letter Phoenix Zones Initiative’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, and several colleagues sent to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), urging them to increase the stringency of their publishing guidelines to better align the practices of science with genuinely ethical values.

August 8, 2022 (Newsweek)
US Children Carry a Double Burden for Gun Violence and Policy Gaps
This op-ed by Phoenix Zones Initiative’s Director of Policy, Michelle Blake, looks at the double burden and long-term traumas that violence forces on children and their families and urges the creation of a federal-level entity dedicated to advancing children’s rights.

July 8, 2022 (The Hastings Center)
Primates in Medical Research: A Matter of Convenience, Not Sound Science
This op-ed by Phoenix Zones Initiative President Dr. Hope Ferdowsian and Dr. L. Syd M Johnson highlights the translational failures in biomedical research caused by focusing on using animals in research and calls for transforming medical research so that it protects and benefits both people and animals.

March 10, 2022 (Health and Human Rights Journal)
US High-Level Office for Children is Critical for Children’s Rights
Led by Phoenix Zones Initiative and First Focus on Children, a coalition of groups focused on children’s rights highlights in this special Viewpoint how the US is falling short on ensuring the health and well-being of children and calls for a federal-level position dedicated to giving children a voice on policy issues that affect them.

January 20, 2022 (Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics)
Toward an Anti-Maleficent Research Agenda
Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, Phoenix Zones Initiative’s President, and her colleagues argue for the adoption of an “anti-maleficent” research agenda that is in line with the principles from The Belmont Report. Their recommendations include embracing a just, ethical research paradigm that benefits both humans and animals and that centers technological advancements.

Media Mentions

December 22, 2023 (Population Balance Podcast)
Pathways Toward Human and Animal Liberation
Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, president of Phoenix Zones Initiative, discusses how she and her colleagues are working to dismantle the roots of oppression, exploitation, and domination harming human and nonhuman beings.

September 21, 2023 (The Animal Turn Podcast)
Phoenix Zones
Dr. Hope Ferdowsian talks about Phoenix Zones and discusses how crises present opportunities for change as well as how humans and animals who have experienced trauma show capacities for resilience when they are afforded with dignity, freedom, and justice.

September 14, 2023 (CABI One Health)
Fostering Human Animal Earthling Identities in Just One Health Messages for Multi-Species Food Justice
The work of Phoenix Zones Initiative and our president, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, to advance a Just One Health approach is mentioned in this article about the need for One Health to center multi-species justice and to shift how we think and talk about human and nonhuman beings.

February 14, 2023 (University of New Mexico Newsroom)
A Search for Answers in Ethics: Where Animals Fit In
The University of New Mexico interviews Phoenix Zones Initiative board member Dr. John P. Gluck, a former primate researcher, and now emeritus professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico and faculty affiliate at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, about his experiences and the importance of bringing ethics to research.

January 25, 2023 (A Relatable Voice Podcast)
Human and Animal Rights, a Meaningful Conversation with Dr. Hope Ferdowsian
Phoenix Zones Initiative President Dr. Hope Ferdowsian discusses what inspired her to become a doctor, how she got involved in human rights and animal rights, the importance of bridging silos in transforming systems and in addressing the root causes of global challenges, and what led her to co-found Phoenix Zones Initiative to focus on ending exploitation and creating a world of Phoenix Zones.

October 12, 2022 (Yahoo! News)
Is It Time to End the Era of Animal Testing in Science?
Phoenix Zones Initiative’s President, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, is quoted in this article looking at the shift in support for using animals in research and providing a sampling of different perspectives on whether using animals in experiments is scientifically and ethically valid.

FDA Modernization Act, as Amended by Senate HELP Committee, Reintroduced Today in U.S. Senate
Phoenix Zones Initiative is one of nearly 200 organizations and businesses that have called on the US Senate to pass the FDA Modernization Act, which was just reintroduced in the Senate. If passed, the bill would remove the Depression-era requirement for animal testing in new drug development and would pave the way for more modern, ethical, patient-centered methods.

July 11, 2022 (FOUR PAWS PSA)
Powerful Support for #OneHealth
It’s vital that governments prioritize the rights, health, and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet in their policies so that we can prevent the next pandemic. This powerful short video from FOUR PAWS International features actors Brian Cox and Thuso Mbedu, and experts, including Phoenix Zones Initiative President Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, as they urge governments to adopt local and global prevention measures and a just One Health approach to preventing future pandemics.

April 6, 2022 (University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Newsroom)
Plea for Protection: UNM Physician Joins in Call to Ratify UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, President of Phoenix Zones Initiative, is co-leading a coalition of organizations dedicated to children’s rights who are working to establish a US high-level entity dedicated to advancing children’s rights, health, and wellbeing via the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

January 4, 2022 (“Some People” (Every)Body))
What Will the SARS-CoV-2 Global Pandemic Teach Us about Human Rights, Nonhuman Rights, and Public Health?
Kimberly J. Soenen of “Some People” (Every)Body interviews Phoenix Zones Initiative President Dr. Hope Ferdowsian about the importance of embracing the interconnectedness of the rights, health, and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet; the challenges of the pandemic and public health; and the need for hope.

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