"In almost all cases, we found that research on chimpanzees was not necessary."
Medical experiments on chimpanzees are
largely unnecessary and should be rare, concluded a report released Thursday from special panel of the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies of Science.
The authors did not recommend an outright ban, as Europeans countries have done, but suggested strict parameters for research funded by the National Institutes of Health. Leaders there immediately said they would adhere to the recommendations.
"The bar is very high," said Jeffrey Kahn, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, who chaired the panel.
"It's not a stretch to say we're a hair's breadth away from an opinion that says there is no need to keep chimps in labs for medical research," said Dr. John J. Pippin, director of academic affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an animal rights group.
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