Centralize biolab oversight: GAO

A new government body should be formed to oversee the increasing number of high-containment laboratories that work with dangerous pathogens, according to a linkurl:Government Accountability Office (GAO) report;http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09574.pdf released yesterday (September 21). Bacillus anthracis Image:P Paul Keim, linkurl:CDC EID,;http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no1/03-0238.htm via WikipediaIn the report, the GAO pointed out that such laboratories have proliferated since 2001; in 200

Alla Katsnelson
Sep 21, 2009
A new government body should be formed to oversee the increasing number of high-containment laboratories that work with dangerous pathogens, according to a linkurl:Government Accountability Office (GAO) report;http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09574.pdf released yesterday (September 21).
Bacillus anthracis
Image:P Paul Keim, linkurl:CDC EID,;http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no1/03-0238.htm via Wikipedia
In the report, the GAO pointed out that such laboratories have proliferated since 2001; in 2008, there were 1,362 Biosafety Level 3 labs registered with the CDC, the report notes. But no single federal organization is in charge of overseeing this expansion and high-risk research. "While some federal agencies do have a mission to track a subset of BSL-3 and -4 laboratories that work with select agents and know the number of those laboratories, no single regulatory agency has specific responsibility for biosafety in all high-containment laboratories in the United States," the report states. There are also, the report notes, no laws that would help the government track such...
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