UK Academy of Medical Science publishes report on animals containing human materials

In July 2011, the Academy of Medical Science (UK) issued a report “Animals containing human material”, abbreviated ACHM, that described the need for a formal governing system or body that reviews research involving genetically modified animals that contain human gene inserts.  They recommend that three levels of categories be created to guide scrutiny into experimental studies:

  1. Category one. The great majority of ACHM experiments which do not pose issues beyond those that arise from the general use of animals in research.  These studies should be subject to the same oversight and regulation as other animal research.
  2. Category two. A limited number of ACHM studies that demand strong scientific justification. They should be subject, case by case, to additional specialist scrutiny from the proposed national expert body.
  3. Category three. A narrow range of experiments that should not currently be licensed because they lack compelling scientific justification or raise very strong ethical concerns.

The expert body would define what the boundaries of the categories are, as well as inform the public of their decisions.  Currently, no countries have national laws to govern this type of research.  The full report, a synopsis, press release, responses to the report and additional supporting quotes are available from the above website.

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