CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* more on the 2007 probe of the misshipment of anthrax that CDC does not want you to know about

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 18, 2015

Screen shot 2015-06-18 at 5.24.08 AM

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3 Responses to “* more on the 2007 probe of the misshipment of anthrax that CDC does not want you to know about”

  1. DXer said

    http://about.van.fedex.com/newsroom/global-english/fedex-statement-on-dod-anthrax-shipment/

    FedEx Statement on DOD Anthrax Shipment

    May 28, 2015

    We can confirm that FedEx transported shipments for the Department of Defense (DOD) from the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. All shipments have been safely delivered to their destinations without incident, and we’re confident that none of the shipments compromised the health or safety of our employees or customers. We are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure appropriate shipping protocols, policies and regulations are followed by the DOD on future shipments.

  2. DXer said

    USA Today Says We Have a Lab Safety Problem, But What is it Exactly?
    Tue, 07/07/2015 – 9:28am
    Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief
    http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/blogs/2015/07/usa-today-says-we-have-lab-safety-problem-what-it-exactly

    However, I don’t see the locational secrecy of these labs as the elephant in the room. I don’t mind the fact that the location of these labs is not made public. I don’t mind the fact that the U.S. is not advertising to home-grown and foreign terrorists where to find the most dangerous agents known to humans. I simply don’t mind that those who want to hurt others don’t have easy access to destructive pathogens.

    I also don’t mind that there are more than 200 labs partaking in this kind of research—dual-use research of concern (DURC), as it’s called, is our next line of defense, and also possibly the key to curing fatal diseases. This kind of research is absolutely necessary in my opinion.

    Read more on DURC regulations

    Overseeing oversight

    What I do see as a problem indicated in the USA Today report is that the “oversight of biological research labs is fragmented, often secretive and largely self-policing.”

    Inadequate policing by the CDC and USDA of a program they fund is not the only fault with this common method.

    For all labs, not just those in the select agent program, biosafety committees are assembled to assess the risks of certain research projects. The problem with these committees is that they often comprise a scientist’s colleagues, whether it be the principle investigator (PI) or a mentor the researcher has worked closely with in the past. While it may not be intentional, the closeness of the committee to the research leaves a wide open path for bias. Even if there is no bias, the proximity still leaves itself open to questions.

    And still, there are those researchers who chose to just ignore biosafety rules.

    A standard solution

    So, my takeaway from the report is this—the need for standardization in lab safety, at all levels, is critical.

    Currently, there is no reporting system in place to store data from accidents, analyze common problems and learn from others’ mistakes before it is too late.

    In addition, the hierarchy present in labs, in academia specifically, can dissuade a researcher from speaking up. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other staff are both financially and educationally dependent on their PI—concerns about their future and career may make them reluctant to raise safety questions and concerns, as well as admit fault in certain safety situations.

    I think the establishment of highly specific federal standardization and protocols would benefit the lab safety community immensely. With the elimination of self-policing, an independent third party committee could help ensure the safety and integrity of researchers, universities and the public.

  3. DXer said

    The CDC has shut me down — even though my request was to USAMRIID, not CDC! — by looking to charge me as a commercial requester! A reporter will have to make the same request.

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