U.S. bioterror labs tripled – creating new safety risks

Seven years after the 2001 anthrax attacks, a congressionally ordered study finds a growing threat of biological terrorism and calls for aggressive defenses on par with those used to prevent a terrorist nuclear detonation…

The bipartisan report faults the Bush administration for devoting insufficient resources to prevent an attack and says U.S. policies have at times impeded international biodefense efforts while promoting the rapid growth of a network of domestic laboratories possessing the world’s most dangerous pathogens.

The number of such “high-containment” labs in the United States has tripled since 2001, yet U.S. officials have not implemented adequate safeguards to prevent deadly germs from being stolen or accidentally released, it says. “The rapid growth in the number of such labs in recent years has created new safety and security risks which must be managed,” the draft report states…

The biodefense research industry that sprang up after 2001 offers potential solutions to a future attack, but also numerous new opportunities for theft or diversion of deadly germs, the report says. Today, about 400 research facilities and 14,000 people are authorized to work with deadly strains in the United States alone, and several of the new labs have been embroiled in controversies because of security breaches, such as the escape of lab animals.

Internationally, the challenges are even greater. And we know how much respect the United States enjoys around the world.

One thought on “U.S. bioterror labs tripled – creating new safety risks

  1. moss says:

    And when you read the article, it’s the same old… No oversight. No responsibility. No conception of turning to something of value to the nation, the world.

    Greed, grasping, the now-typical government contractor mill grinding out dollars. Only the products are deadlier than bullets.

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