(CIDRAP News) The United States' food supply makes an attractive target for terrorists, and people in the food industry need to talk more frankly about the risks, bioterrorism expert Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, said in a Minneapolis speech yesterday.
(CIDRAP News) Mexico closed its border to livestock from the United States last week because of concern that a herd of US cattle bound for Mexico had foot-and-mouth disease, but the border was quickly reopened when the disease was found to be a relatively harmless look-alike.
(CIDRAP News) To bring coherence to a poorly coordinated national effort, the United States should focus its current bioterrorism preparedness program on four specific threat scenarios involving anthrax, smallpox, botulinum toxin, and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), according to a report by defense consultant and former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig.
(CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Jun 30 ordered a biodefense research laboratory at Texas A&M University to stop all work on select agents and toxins while the CDC investigates reports of lab workers infected with the category B bioterror agents Brucella and Coxiella burnetti.
(CIDRAP News) A US House of Representatives committee today explored problems at the nation's biodefense labs, including a lack of coordinated federal oversight and even a lack of knowledge of how many high-containment labs exist.
These concerns have been highlighted recently by aggressive efforts from the Sunshine Project, a watchdog group that monitors biodefense research safety, and by other media reports.
(CIDRAP News) – A federal assessment of the proposed National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), a biosafety-level (BSL) 4 lab to be built on the Kansas State University (KSU) campus in Manhattan, Kan., is incomplete and should be expanded and updated, the National Research Council (NRC) said in a report today.
(CIDRAP News) A federal advisory committee is recommending that 11 bacterial species and viruses on the current "select agent" list, including anthrax and Ebola virus, be singled out for special safeguards and that another 19 agents be dropped from the list entirely.