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Congress admits biosafety gaps

This in from news editor Alla Katsnelson: At a congressional hearing on linkurl:biosafety;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53626/ today (October 4), the Government Accountability Office reported that the federal government doesn't know how many labs are involved in biosafety level 3 and level 4 work, or where those labs are. Although labs working with certain "select agents" are under the oversight of the CDC, labs working with other pathogens such as SARS or Hantavirus a

Alison McCook
This in from news editor Alla Katsnelson: At a congressional hearing on linkurl:biosafety;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53626/ today (October 4), the Government Accountability Office reported that the federal government doesn't know how many labs are involved in biosafety level 3 and level 4 work, or where those labs are. Although labs working with certain "select agents" are under the oversight of the CDC, labs working with other pathogens such as SARS or Hantavirus are not required to report mishaps. "No single federal agency, according to 12 agencies' response to our survey, has the mission to track the overall numbers of BSL3 and BSL4 labs in the United States," the GAO wrote in linkurl:testimony;http://energycommerce.house.gov/cmte_mtgs/110-oi-hrg.100407.BSL.shtml submitted to the hearing. "Consequently, no agency is responsible for determining the risks associated with the proliferation of these labs. " The GAO's report counted 17 federal agencies funding BSL3 or BSL4 research.

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