Public Health Physician Testifies Before Senate in Support of Bill to End Chimpanzee Experiments
Martin Wasserman, M.D., J.D., Outlines Scientific, Financial, and Ethical Problems with Invasive Chimpanzee Experiments at Senate Hearing
WASHINGTON—Maryland’s former state health secretary spoke before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works today in support of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, one of the bills a subcommittee is considering in a legislative hearing.
Dr. Wasserman also discussed the recent report that the Institute of Medicine published on chimpanzee experiments. The report authors found 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. They did not find a single area of human health research that requires the use of chimpanzees. After the report’s release, the National Institutes of Health suspended funding of new chimpanzee experiment proposals.
The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act would phase out all invasive chimpanzee experimentation, prohibit chimpanzee breeding for research purposes, and retire the more than 500 federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries.
Dr. Wasserman has served as state health secretary for both Maryland and Oregon and was the executive director of the Maryland State Medical Society, advocating for more than 25,000 physicians. He also served as the medical director of immunization practices and scientific affairs in the vaccine division of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals.
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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.