RealNews

U.S. Fails to Certify Many Labs That Use Pathogens

The federal government has failed to perform required security reviews on hundreds of U.S. laboratories and thousands of scientists researching biological pathogens such as anthrax spores and plague bacteria, according to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), who helped pass a 2002 law mandating the probes. In a letter last week to three Cabinet secretaries, Lieberman, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said that “it appears that the administration has not acted forcefully and expeditiously” to carry out provisions in the 2002 law that required the background and security investigations to be finished by today. Agencies given the job of carrying out 2002’s Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act had set today as the deadline by which the nation’s hundreds of laboratories needed to have been certified to do research using biological materials that U.S. officials fear could be diverted by terrorists. Full Story

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