Federal officials have sent a formal warning to University of Utah medical laboratories for violating rules on reviewing experiments involving animals.
The Oct. 10, 2011, warning letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture refers to "repeated failure" by the U.’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to adequately oversee lab experiments by U. researchers at the U.’s Office of Comparative Medicine.
The brief letter, sent by the USDA office in Fort Collins, Colo., puts the Salt Lake City-based university on notice that further violations "may result in the assessment of a civil penalty or criminal prosecution."
U. officials involved with animal welfare and experiment approval said they were treating the warning "very seriously." The violations, they said, stemmed from incidents where research scientists or U. veterinarians altered experiments but failed to notify the review committee of those changes.