November 16, 2011 • Posted in Letter to the Editor
Project R&R’s response: Jarrod Bailey, PhD
Claiming millions will die if chimpanzee research ends (“Chimps’ Days in Labs May Be Dwindling,” November 14th) has no scientific basis. Evidence reveals that chimpanzee research has failed to contribute to human medicine: they were used to test 85 HIV/AIDS vaccines that did not work in humans, and they are a poor model for cancer research and unnecessary for hepatitis C research. Genetic differences affect immune function; tumor formation; HIV infection; cognitive disorders and more.
The U.S. alone continues using chimpanzees in invasive research. Yet only 10–20% of all chimpanzees are in active protocols. The FDA discourages chimpanzee tests, stating if chimpanzees were no longer available it would have “no discernable effect” on approving new drugs. Pharmaceutical companies and private laboratories have ended chimpanzee use.
If it was vital, none of this would be true. For the sake of human health, as well as chimpanzees, it must end.
Jarrod Bailey, PhD