A report by the US Government Accountability Office reveals that research laboratories in the US have mistakenly transported at least 21 shipments of highly contagious pathogens to unsecure research facilities worldwide over the last 13 years. The number is double the official figure previously on record with the government.
The report’s authors concluded that “high-containment laboratories we visited did not consistently apply safeguards when conducting [virus] inactivation” before transport. Viruses, bacteria and toxins thought to be inactive and safe were, in fact, not.
The report recommends strengthening federal oversight by consolidating the currently “fragmented” network of regulatory authorities.
The Center for Public Integrity