Researcher alleges CDC cover-up

USDA microbiologist was infected with E. coli O157:H7, and a report says she was responsible

John Dudley Miller(johnmiller@nasw.org)
Jun 14, 2005

A former government researcher has charged the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with falsely concluding that she was responsible for the oversight of a dangerous experiment that almost killed her. Ru-ching Hsia, a microbiologist who worked in a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) lab in Beltsville, Maryland, from June to December 2003, became sick five days after another researcher's technician conducted an experiment in her lab.

Hsia told The Scientist that a CDC report–which she said incorrectly concluded that she was supervising Santiago Rossi, the technician, during the experiment–would lead others to believe that she is a sloppy scientist and will ruin her reputation forever. "I feel that I have a moral responsibility to expose this cover-up," she wrote in an E-mail yesterday (June 14). "I believe in science and I could not respect myself if I allow this lie and deceit to continue when...

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