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Mainland animal lab poses risks: GAO

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not demonstrated that moving foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) research from an island lab in New York to a linkurl:new mainland animal research facility;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23091/ would be safe, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) told a Congressional committee this morning (May 22). "We found that linkurl:DHS;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54186/ has not conducted or commissioned any study" to assess whether

Alla Katsnelson
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not demonstrated that moving foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) research from an island lab in New York to a linkurl:new mainland animal research facility;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23091/ would be safe, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) told a Congressional committee this morning (May 22). "We found that linkurl:DHS;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54186/ has not conducted or commissioned any study" to assess whether FMD can be safely researched on the mainland, Nancy Kingsbury, managing director of applied research and methods at the GOA, told the committee. Instead, she said, the agency based its decision on a 2002 study conducted by the USDA that examined technical feasibility, not safety. "That's a very different question," she said. The FMD virus is one of the most contagious of all animal diseases, and since 1955 research on the pathogen has been conducted exclusively in a lab on Plum Island, about three miles off the coast of Long...

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