Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden testified before a House subcommittee last week and acknowledged that recent lab safety breaches were part of an insufficient culture of safety.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on Wednesday to review recent incidents at the CDC involving anthrax and other dangerous pathogens. In June, more than 80 workers at a CDC lab in Atlanta were potentially exposed to live anthrax. In the past month, additional reports emerged, adding urgency to a House Energy and Commerce Committee investigation, according to a committee press release. Continue reading…
New Scientist No 2978 15 July 2014
Biosecurity slip-ups in US labs handling anthrax and smallpox happened because of lack of oversight and failure to follow protocol, says new report. The incident has not yet made anyone ill, and poses negligible risk for the public, but it raises concerns about work with deadly pathogens.
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The New York Times Denise Grady 19 July 2014
The recently documented mistakes at federal laboratories involving anthrax, flu and smallpox have incited public outrage at the government’s handling of dangerous pathogens. But the episodes were just a tiny fraction of the hundreds that have occurred in recent years across a sprawling web of academic, commercial and government labs that operate without clear national standards or oversight, federal reports show.
Despite a significant increase in “high-level containment” labs set up to work with risky microbes, there has never been a national plan for how many of them are needed, or how they should be built and operated. The more of these labs there are, the G.A.O. warned Congress last week, the greater the chances of dangerous blunders or sabotage, especially in a field where oversight is “fragmented and largely self-policing.”
BioPrepWatch Sean Carlson 16 July 2014
The study discussed factors that contributed to the incident while highlighting actions taken by the CDC to prevent future accidents.
CDC Director Frieden takes questions on response to biological incidents
House subcommittee investigates CDC anthrax incidents
USA Today Alison Young J
The director of one of the world’s most prestigious public health agencies went before Congress on Wednesday to try to explain laboratory blunders that included his scientists mishandling live anthrax and unknowingly contaminating other specimens with a dangerous strain of bird flu.
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., chairman of an oversight committee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said lab safety issues appear to be systemic at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Murphy, citing numerous reports issued by government watchdogs over the years, called the most recent incident “sloppy” and “inexcusable.”
Energy & Commerce Committee US House of Representatives July 16, 2014
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), today held a hearing to review recent incidents at the Centers for Disease Control involving anthrax and other dangerous pathogens. The CDC announced in June that more than 80 workers at a CDC lab in Atlanta may have been exposed to live anthrax, prompting an investigation from this committee. Over the past month, additional reports have emerged, adding urgency to this investigation.
July 16, 2014
July 16, 2014
July 16, 2014
Posted in Biological and chemical weapons, Influenza, Leadership / Management, Microbiology, Occupational health & safety
Tagged Anthrax, Bird flu, CDC, Laboratory safety, Pathogens, Smallpox, United States
(University of Missouri-Columbia 7 July 2014) Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that ‘Eat for Life,’ a new wellness approach that focuses on mindfulness and intuitive eating as a lifestyle, is more effective than traditional weight-loss programs in improving individuals’ views of their bodies and decreasing problematic eating behaviors.
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Brisbane Times Kim Stephens July 11, 2014
Queensland’s Department of Justice says the abandoned Brisbane law courts demolition site poses no threat to public health, after fears were raised it was riddled with asbestos.
No airborne fibres were detected in site monitoring undertaken by Workplace Health and Safety officers on Wednesday, according to a departmental spokesperson, and samples of broken cement sheeting taken from the site last week have also tested negative for the cancer-causing fibres.
Townsville Bulletin Matthew Dunn 8 July 2014
THE body of a Mount Isa miner missing since June 18 has been found by search teams.
Police believe the body is that of Brett Kelly, who was reported missing on June 18, which sparked a massive search effort of the mine site in the following days.