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Institute of Medicine Report Could Spell End of Chimpanzee Experiments

December 20, 2011
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From PCRM

The Institute of Medicine today released a report that finds that chimpanzee experiments are not needed to develop an HIV vaccine, hepatitis C antiviral drugs, or treatments for a wide range of other human illnesses. The report underscores the need for Congress to pass the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act. This bill would end chimpanzee experimentation in the United States, the last nation on earth still conducting large-scale experiments on humankind’s closest genetic relatives.

Experts from the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) testified before the IOM during the seven-month report process, providing evidence on the scientific and ethical problems of chimpanzee use in invasive experiments.

The report, written by a panel of scientific and medical experts convened by the IOM on behalf of the National Academy of Sciences, says that most current use of chimpanzees for biomedical research is unnecessary. Regarding hepatitis C research, for example, the report says, “The committee finds that chimpanzees are not necessary for HCV antiviral drug discovery and development and does not foresee the future necessity of the chimpanzee model in this area.”

“It’s obviously cruel to experiment on chimpanzees, and scientifically it’s just not needed,” says John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., director of academic affairs for PCRM. “There is just no compelling scientific justification for experimenting on chimpanzees.”

Dr. Pippin, a cardiologist and former animal researcher, submitted testimony on behalf of PCRM for the IOM’s inaugural committee meeting in May. PCRM experts again testified before the IOM committee in August about the medical and ethical reasons for ending chimpanzee experimentation.

Decades of chimpanzee experiments focusing on HIV, hepatitis C, and other diseases have not resulted in effective vaccines. Observational researchers have found that many of these chimpanzees held captive in laboratories and used in experiments suffer from symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In September, Scientific American called for an end to chimpanzee experiments, and others have echoed the same sentiment.

The bipartisan Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, legislation which has support in the House and Senate, would phase out chimpanzee experiments and release federally owned chimpanzees to permanent sanctuaries. It would also save taxpayers almost a third of a billion dollars over the next decade.

The United States is the only nation still using chimpanzees in large-scale invasive research. Other nations, including the European Union and Japan, no longer permit such experiments.



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Please support the Great Ape Protection & Cost Savings Act H.R. 1513/S.810


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we share 98% of our DNA
and for years our brothers
badly treated this way
now the institute
of medicine
with us agrees.
vivisection must now
be a curable disease
eradicated from our view
all the misery, through

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


2 Comments leave one →
  1. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
    December 20, 2011 8:28 pm

    we share 98% of our DNA
    and for years our brothers
    badly treated this way
    now the institute
    of medicine
    with us agrees.
    vivisection must now
    be a curable disease
    eradicated from our view
    all the misery, through

    Like

  2. LINDA BADHAM permalink
    December 21, 2011 10:11 am

    COME USA JOIN THE REST OF THE COUNTRIES AND LEAVE THE PRIMATES ALONE. WHY BE SO CRUEL AND TAKE THEIR LIVES FOR NOTHING !!!

    Like

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