Owing to the ongoing debate over health-care reform, we've all become conversant on such once-esoteric subjects as "managed care" and "universal coverage." We're all interested in the matter, and the fact that politicians are meeting the issue head-on illustrates the power of public pressure.

But there is one threat to human health that has slipped through a loophole in the public consciousness. It is a threat that has the potential to slow medical progress to a tedious crawl, delaying and sometimes stopping the search for cures and treatments.

This threat takes the form of an anti-medical research movement, better known as animal rights. And because the public has failed to expose the movement's agenda and to condemn its tactics, it is growing stronger, more destructive, and more difficult to stop.

This is no longer a movement composed of a small band of extremists. Membership in animal rights groups has grown...

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