Institute of Medicine Finds Chimpanzee Experiments Unnecessary
The National Institutes of Health confirmed last month that chimpanzees residing at a nonresearch facility in New Mexico will stay put for now, rather than being sent back into experiments. The announcement came just hours after the Institute of Medicine released its landmark report finding that, in addition to the clear ethical problems with chimpanzee experiments, these experiments are not needed to advance human health.
NIH also suspended all new grants for chimpanzee experiments based on the report, which could not find any area of invasive chimpanzee experiments that cannot be replaced with nonanimal methods. Regarding hepatitis C research, 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.”
PCRM had successfully challenged the original composition of the IOM committee, which included several members with strong ties to animal experimentation. Three of the members were removed. PCRM director of academic affairs John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., and other PCRM experts testified before the IOM during the seven-month report process, providing evidence on the scientific and ethical problems of chimpanzee experimentation.
For more than two years, PCRM has worked to keep the nearly 200 chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility permanently out of experiments, in addition to PCRM’s work to support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.