- U.S. Will Not Finance New Research on Chimps
1The National Institutes of Health on Thursday suspended all new grants for
biomedical and behavioral research on chimpanzees and accepted the first
uniform criteria for assessing the necessity of such research. Those
guidelines require that the research be necessary for human health, and that
there be no other way to accomplish it.
In making the announcement, Dr. Francis S. Collins, the director of the N.I.
H., said that chimps, as the closest human relatives, deserve “special
consideration and respect” and that the agency was accepting the
recommendations released earlier in the day by an expert committee of the
Institute of Medicine, which concluded that most research on chimpanzees was
The report and the quick response by the N.I.H. do not put an end to
research on chimps, but they were claimed as victories by animal welfare
groups that have long been fighting for a ban on such research, arguing that
chimps should not be subjected to experimental use. They said that the move
was a step toward eventually ending chimp research, already a tiny segment
of federal research.
Jeffrey Kahn, chairman of the Institute of Medicine committee that produced
the report and a professor of bioethics and public policy at Johns Hopkins
University, said the group’s recommendations would make it harder to use
chimps in research.
“What we did was establish a set of rigorous criteria that set the bar
quite high for use of chimpanzees in biomedical or behavioral research,” he
said. He also said that, in effect, the writing was on the wall: “One of
the important themes in the committee report is that there is a trajectory
toward decreasing necessity for the use of chimps in biomedical and
Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, which
is strongly opposed to any experimentation on chimpanzees, said, “We’re
tremendously encouraged.” He said the report’s “overarching conclusion
was that chimps are largely unnecessary” for research, and that the report
and N.I.H. action could influence two other continuing efforts to stop
research on chimps.
One is the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011, now before
both houses of Congress. Another is a petition before the federal Fish and
Wildlife Service to declare captive chimpanzees endangered, as wild
chimpanzees are. The exemption has allowed research to continue and permits
the use of chimpanzees in entertainment and as pets.
“ ‘Endangered’ stops all those uses,” Mr. Pacelle said, and the report’
s skeptical assessment of the value of chimps in research would provide
support for the Fish and Wildlife Service to categorize all chimps as
At the same time, people involved in chimp research said they, too, were
Dr. Thomas Rowell, director of the New Iberia Research Center in New Iberia,
La., which houses 471 chimpanzees, more than any other center in the
country, also said he was “quite pleased” with the report. “It just
confirms what we’ve been saying all along in regard to the chimpanzee model
for advancing public health research,” he said, referring to the necessity
of the chimpanzee for some research on public health.
Dr. Collins said the N.I.H. would set up a working group to decide how to
carry out the recommendations. Until the group finishes its deliberations,
no new grants would be awarded and all N.I.H. chimpanzees that are not
already enrolled in experiments would not be involved in any further
research projects. Dr. Collins did not offer a timeline or say how many
chimpanzees were currently involved in research.
Use of chimpanzees has already been waning, partly because it is expensive.
The report covers only chimps owned or supported by the government, 612 of a
total of 937 chimps available for research in the United States. Only a few
are in experiments at any one time.
The committee identified two areas where it said the use of chimpanzees
could be necessary. One is research on a preventive vaccine for hepatitis C.
The committee could not agree on whether this research fit the criteria and
so left that decision open.
In the second area, research on immunology involving monoclonal antibodies,
the committee concluded that experimenting on chimps was not necessary
because of new technology, but because the new technology was not widespread
, projects now under way should be allowed to reach completion.
The report offered two sets of criteria, one for biomedical experiments,
which it said could be considered necessary when there was no other way to
do the research — with other animals, lab techniques or human subjects —
and if not doing the research would “significantly slow or prevent
important advancements to prevent, control and/or treat life-threatening or
For behavioral and genomic experiments, the report recommended that the
research should be done on chimps only if the animals are cooperative, and
in a way that minimizes pain and distress. It also said that the studies
should “provide otherwise unattainable insight into comparative genomics,
normal and abnormal behavior, mental health, emotion or cognition.”
The report also recommended that chimpanzees be housed in conditions that
are behaviorally, socially and physically appropriate. All United States
primate research centers are already accredited by the Association for
Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, and Dr. Kahn said
that this accreditation meets the committee’s recommendation.
That was one area where the Humane Society disagreed with the report. “That
language,” said Mr. Pacelle, referring to the requirements for adequate
cages and enclosures, “was disappointing to us,” because it could mean
that chimps that were not in experiments would stay at research centers.
“I’m arguing for the movement of all of them to the sanctuaries,” he said
, where large open enclosures are much more common.
The N.I.H. commissioned the report after an outcry over its plan in 2010 to
move a colony of chimpanzees it owned out of semiretirement in Alamogordo, N
.M., and back into medical research at a primate center in Texas.
The N.I.H. responded in January 2011, by announcing it would leave the
chimps in New Mexico for the time being, and by commissioning the Institute
of Medicine to do the study released on Thursday. Dr. Collins confirmed that
for now, the Alamogordo chimps would stay where they were.
Shrimp on Treadmills
【在 B**W 的大作中提到】
: The National Institutes of Health on Thursday suspended all new grants for
: biomedical and behavioral research on chimpanzees and accepted the first
: uniform criteria for assessing the necessity of such research. Those
: guidelines require that the research be necessary for human health, and that
: there be no other way to accomplish it.
: In making the announcement, Dr. Francis S. Collins, the director of the N.I.
: H., said that chimps, as the closest human relatives, deserve “special
: consideration and respect” and that the agency was accepting the
: recommendations released earlier in the day by an expert committee of the
: Institute of Medicine, which concluded that most research on chimpanzees was
haha, only way this gets a go, will be
say the research is funded by welfare system. then urban chimps would jump
boat right in...
second day, michelle would state she's never been so proud of America... And
urges Obama to report to lab immediately...
【在 C*******r 的大作中提到】