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The animal rights activist who threatened two University professors with a libel suit last month said yesterday that the professors' retraction of their earlier statements convinced him not to carry out his threat. "I think they've adequately addressed things," said John McArdle, a scientific advisor to the American Anti-Vivisection Society. McArdle last month threatened Anatomy Professors James Lash and Adrian Morrison with a libel suit after they attacked his credentials in an open letter distributed to other professors at the University. Over the past four months, McArdle has published a series of articles in AV magazine which question the usefulness of Morrison's sleep research on cats. AV is the journal of the American Anti-Vivisection Society. McArdle claimed that Morrison and Lash misrepesented his credentials in a cover letter and an open letter of support for Morrison, which was written in response to the AV articles and distributed to University professors and researchers for their signatures. In the cover letter, Lash wrote that the open letter of support and the signatures would be distributed to major media outlets such as The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Washington Post. After McArdle's lawyer contacted the University and threatened legal action, Lash redrafted the letters and sent the new version to all the professors and researchers who had received the first version. McArdle said yesterday that the new version "is much more rational and reasonable, but people who have read the first and the second are still left with the impression that I'm not qualified." McArdle said that if the new open letter is sent to any newspapers or other media, he will send out a press release detailing the controversy surrounding the first version.

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