RealNews

USDA Report: Better Security Necessary at Labs

The Department of Homeland Security should establish strict security guidelines for all government-funded U.S. laboratories that conduct research on deadly viruses, bacteria and chemical agents, U.S. Agriculture Department investigators said on Tuesday. The USDA’s Office of Inspector General said it found dozens of research labs, mostly located at public universities, that were vulnerable to theft because of lax security and incomplete record keeping. “Without a standard minimum level of security, there is a potential that laboratories could experience unauthorized entries and that the loss or theft of high consequence pathogens could go undetected,” the report said. With several federal agencies providing grants to many of the same research labs, the report recommended that the Homeland Security Department create one set of security rules for institutions that handle high risk agents. Full Story

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