Pentagon sending live anthrax all over the world


This video from the USA says about itself:

Questionable anthrax sent to 51 labs

3 June 2015

CNN’s Barbara Starr reports that anthrax that may be alive was sent to dozens of labs across the United States.

From USA TODAY:

Number of live anthrax shipments to labs expands, officials say

Alison Young and Tom Vanden Brook

June 3, 2015

WASHINGTON — Live samples of anthrax were shipped from a military lab to 51 other laboratories in 17 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

That’s more than twice as many laboratories as previously believed, according to the preliminary results of an investigation led by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work.

“We expect this number may rise,” Work said.

The Pentagon will finish by the end of June its study of why an Army lab mistakenly sent out the potentially deadly anthrax samples, said Frank Kendall, the military’s top acquisition chief.

Work has been charged with determining why the tainted vials were sent and preventing it from happening again. Also leading the investigation: Kendall, Navy Cdr. Franca Jones, chief of medical programs for chemical and biological defense, and Stephen Redd, a top official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kendall said Wednesday that his team will examine the root causes for the shipments and other military procedures. …

Potentially bad batches of anthrax date back as long as 10 years, Jones said.

The Pentagon’s probe will look into the reason its irradiation failed to kill the anthrax and why testing failed to discover it, Work said. …

The states, according to a Pentagon statement, are California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina. The three countries are Australia, Canada and South Korea.

Until Wednesday, little information had been released by the military or CDC about what may have gone wrong in the procedure used by the lab at the Dugway Proving Ground, which was supposed to have killed the specimens of anthrax before they were shipped to other facilities.

Several of the labs that received the specimens in late April were working on a project with the Department of Defense to develop a new diagnostic test to identify biological threats.

John Peterson, a microbiology professor who works with anthrax in labs at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, said generally that scientists face challenges when they seek to kill anthrax spores, especially if some remnant of the pathogen is needed for testing detection equipment. Tests and sensors often are looking for certain proteins or nucleic acids associated with the pathogen, he said.

“The process of inactivating them is kind of a delicate one,” he said, noting that the method must be sufficient to kill all of the spores yet still leave something behind that’s reminiscent of the organism so the material can be used to test detection equipment.

“Spores, because of their nature, their very heavy outside coating make them resistant to drying or chemicals,” Peterson said in an interview with USA TODAY.

Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, forms spores that, if inhaled, can cause serious disease.

There is no single, best method for killing anthrax spores, Peterson said, and methods may vary between labs. Some use chemicals, others use radiation. The Dugway lab was reportedly irradiating its anthrax specimens. …

CDC and military officials would not answer USA TODAY’s questions about Dugway’s anthrax deactivation method, how long it had been in use and why problems with it weren’t identified until May 22. On May 22, an unidentified private biotechnology company in Maryland called the CDC to say they had been able to culture small amounts of live Bacillus anthracis from one of the Dugway samples, even though it supposedly had been deactivated.

The apparent verification test done by the Maryland lab launched a massive military and federal investigation that has since extended to other countries. It’s unclear why Dugway and other labs didn’t detect that the specimens were viable. On Friday USA TODAY reported that a supposedly killed anthrax specimen from 2008 was also recently found to be capable of growing, raising concerns last week that the scope of the problem was far larger than just the labs that got a few recent anthrax specimens. …

The military lab’s anthrax mistakes is the latest in a series of high-profile accidents at major U.S. laboratories that have occurred since last summer. A USA TODAY Network investigation (biolabs.usatoday.com) published last week revealed hundreds of additional accidents have occurred with little public scrutiny.

See also here.

Pentagon’s anthrax scandal spreads to Canada: here. And here.

Biosafety blunder as US sends live anthrax to labs around world: here.

U.S. Government: Oops We Mailed Potentially Deadly Anthrax Around the World: here.

Why did the US Army ship live anthrax? Here.

US Centers for Disease Control anthrax investigations reveal widespread safety issues: here.

5 thoughts on “Pentagon sending live anthrax all over the world

  1. It seems as if the original anthrax scare was instigated by American defense to support the mythology of terrorism. What we must all fear is those who are defending us from terrorism are aligned to the terrorist organization, why? to keep the mass population in a state of fear and to get votes for illicit bad governments of the Western alliance for those individuals in politics to stay in high paying jobs

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