Responsible Research with Biological Select Agents and Toxins (2009)Board on Life Sciences
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The issue of laboratory security gained heightened public prominence after the FBI's 2008 revelation that they had identified an employee at a U.S. Army biomedical research lab as the perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax mail attacks. While a substantial body of regulation exists to oversee laboratories that study biological materials that might be used malevolently, the anthrax case raised questions for some as to whether further security measures are necessary This National Research Council report addresses concerns about personnel reliability and physical security at laboratories that study biological agents and toxins. The report recommends some modifications to current practices and procedures, but concludes that there is no "silver bullet," no single measure that will guarantee the security of every research facility. The key imperative is the need to help establish a balance between maintaining laboratory security and ensuring that vital research can thrive.
This project is related to several federal regulations and proclamations including the following:
- Executive Order 13486, "Strengthening Laboratory Biosecurity in the United States," issued by President George W. Bush, January 9, 2009.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC Select Agent Regulations (42 CFR 73)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: APHIS Select Agent Regulations (7 CFR 331 and 9 CFR 121)
- Select Agent and Toxin List: HHS and USDA Select Agents and Toxins
- BMBL: Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories
- NSAR: National Select Agent Registry
- Congressional Research Service: Oversight of High-Containment Biological Laboratories: Issues for Congress (March 2009)
- Defense Science Board: Department of Defense Biological Safety and Security Program (May 2009)
- Government Accountability Office: Biosafety Laboratories: Perimeter Security Assessment of the Nation's Five BSL-4 Laboratories (September 2008)
- National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity: Enhancing Personnel Reliability Among Individuals with Access to Select Agents (May 2009)