Skip to comments.Biotech Lab in Malaysia Raises Security Concerns, Despite U.S. Connection
Posted on 09/07/2010 4:30:55 PM PDT by Nachum
A ProPublica investigation published Tuesday raises concerns about a biotech laboratory being built in Malaysia that will handle deadly pathogens such as anthrax, plague, SARS and the Ebola virus.
The stated mission of lab, developed by the Malaysian government with the Maryland-based firm Emergent BioSolutions, is to produce vaccines against fatal and contagious agents that could be used in terrorist attacks.
But critics worry that the facility could be used for offensive, instead of defensive, purposes in a country that has been tied to several terrorist plots over the past decade. They question "the security, safety and wisdom of building such bio defense labs in areas where al-Qaida operates," ProPublica reported:
"The question for (U.S. officials) is, 'How can we ensure a 'responsible' biotech sector in places like Malaysia, which are Muslim and are cranking out capable and well-educated scientists and have the money to build state-of-the-art facilities?' " says Edward Hammond, who used to head the Sunshine Project, which monitors biosecurity efforts. Hammond has long criticized lax U.S. government oversight of facilities handling dangerous bio-agents. He said strategic imperatives have, by and large, trumped security concerns about new overseas labs.
(Excerpt) Read more at politicsdaily.com ...