Texas A&M University will pay an unprecedented $1 million in fines for more than a dozen safety violations in its research program on bioterrorism agents, the university announced today (February 20). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linkurl:suspended;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54082/ the university's bioterrorism research efforts in July, 2007, after an inspection prompted by the biosafety watchdog group, the linkurl:Sunshine Project,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54293/ uncovered the linkurl:safety lapses.;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53626/ The university proposed the sum to the Office of Inspector General, which levies such fines according to Health and Human Services Department regulations, and learned this afternoon that the OIG has agreed, Elsa Murano, president of Texas A&M, said in a press teleconference. Does that mean that the university acknowledges the safety breaches, which included three workers' exposure to the bacteria Brucella and another pathogen which causes Q fever? "Essentially, yes," she said. Murano said the university "proactively" proposed the large fine "so that others will realize...

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