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Report that NIH will cancel fetal tissue research contract fuels controversy

Report that NIH will cancel fetal tissue research contract fuels controversy
Science
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is disputing a news report that it has decided to end a multimillion-dollar contract that funds the use of human fetal tissue for HIV drug testing.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C., is vigorously contesting a report, published by

The Washington Post

, that it has decided to cancel a $2-million-a-year contract that funds work using human fetal tissue to for testing drugs against HIV.

HHS officials insist they have made no decision on the contract, and say they are still in the process of completing a previously announced review of all federally funded research that uses human fetal tissue derived from elective abortions. But the report comes as antiabortion groups have stepped up their long-standing efforts to end federal funding for research using human fetal tissue, which is legal under a 1993 law . And the battle over the contract is being followed closely by other researchers who rely on fetal tissue in their work.

In the online story posted yesterday, the

Post

reported that an official at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), part of HHS, had told researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), that the agency would be canceling a 7-year contract awarded in 2013 that funds the humanized mouse work, and that the decision was coming from the highest levels, according to a virologist familiar with the events. The
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