Proliferation of Biodefense Laboratories and the Need for National Biosecurity
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"In the years since the September 11, 2001 terrorist acts and the anthrax attacks which followed, the president of the United States has issued a number of Homeland Security Presidential Directives (HSPD). HSPD-10, HSPD-18, and HSPD-21 specifically addressed measures to be taken by the United States to prepare for and mitigate potential threats involving bioterrorism agents (BT agents). The provisions of these directives have strengthened our capacity to cope with such threats and have drastically increased BT-agent research activities. Before 2001 such research was confined to a limited number of high-security laboratories but has since expanded to educational, government, and private laboratories all over the country. This essay discusses the implications of the recent proliferation of laboratories involved in BT-agent research and asserts that additional safety oversight and regulation is necessary in order for these critical research activities to continue without creating additional hazards."
This article appeared in Homeland Security Affairs (August 2008), CHDS Essay Contest
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