Source: USA Today
A successful lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act has revealed how over the course of the past several years, the Center for Disease Control has been sanctioned 6 different times, in secret, by the United States government. The sanctions revolve around the improper labeling, shipment and disposal of viruses, bacteria and toxins – all officially classified as bio-terrorism weapons.
The internal documents, which refused to mention specific locations, reveal how 6 different CDC labs have all had their permits revoked in recent years “for serious safety violations while working with bioterror pathogens.” 5 other separate laboratories have “faced repeated referrals for enforcement actions” dating back to 2003.
According to the original report by USA Today, the news organization who won access to the files, documents reveal how CDC lavatories “among a small group of biolab operators.. have the worst regulatory histories in the country, receiving repeated sanctions under federal regulations.have the worst regulatory histories in the country, receiving repeated sanctions under federal regulations.”
Nearly all of the evidence obtained in the lawsuit, such as the names of specific virus’ and agents, has been blacked out in the papers – for national security reasons. However, one of the 5 incidents documented reveals how a CDC lab was suspended from 2007 to 2010 due to the actions of its lead scientist, who in 2007, sanctioned the transfer Japanese encephalitis virus, which can cause a deadly inflammation of the brain, to an undisclosed location. Upon investigation, the US government found that this scientists actions were not in compliance with federal regulatory standards and completely unsanctioned – jeopardizing the safety of countless individuals.
In response to the report released Tuesday, the CDC said “none of these violations resulted in a risk to the public or illness in laboratory workers” and that the agency is “committed to doing all we can to protect laboratory workers and the communities around them, while supporting scientific advancement to combat evolving threats.” The CDC then released further information about the 6 laboratories they were forced to close:
- Three laboratories improperly shipped killed select agent (bioterror agent) pathogens to entities not approved to receive them.
- Two laboratories carried out experiments involving select agent pathogens in un-registered spaces in CDC facilities not equipped to contain them.
- One laboratory was closed to oversight concerns regarding discrepancies in the inventory.
The CDC went on to further state that 5 of the 6 cases are officially closed and “demonstrated enhanced procedures to prevent future occurrence.” Adding that the agency had “nothing more to offer beyond the statement.” The CDC made no reference to the exact dates, locations or pathogens involved with the 5 other occurrences. As one case remains open, the CDC couldn’t comment on an active investigation.