RealNews

Biodefense Agency Urged For Safety of U.S. Troops

The Pentagon has not developed a single new vaccine against biological agents since the 1991 Gulf War and should create a new biodefense agency to respond to the growing threat of biological attacks on U.S. forces, according to a congressionally mandated report released yesterday. The report, by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that the Defense Department’s existing biodefense efforts are underfunded and fragmented and offer “dismal prospects for successful results.” The report’s authors, directed by Leslie Z. Benet, a professor of biopharmaceutical sciences at the University of California at San Francisco, also found that recent Pentagon attempts to streamline and improve the development of vaccines and other biodefense drugs could make the problem worse by consolidating authority under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a unit with “little resident expertise.” Full Story

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