U.S. Limits Use of Chimps in Biomedical Research

The National Institutes of Health suspended all new grants for biomedical and behavioral research on chimpanzees and has accepted the guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that found that chimps are “not necessary for most biomedical research.” The IOM’s guidelines require that the research be necessary for human health, and that there be no other way to accomplish it.

“Effective immediately, NIH will not issue any new awards for chimpanzee research” as the agency puts in place a committee to review research proposals, agency director Francis Collins said during a news briefing.


The report did not endorse an outright ban on chimp research, but instead outlined restrictive rules for using the apes.

Research into genetic or behavioral questions, which are typically less invasive than biomedical research are acceptable, or could become so with only minor modifications, according the IOM committee convened by the National Academy of Sciences.

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