Report of the Trans-Federal Task Force on Optimizing Biosafety and Biocontainment Oversight [open pdf - 2MB]
The purpose of this report "is to propose options and recommendations to improve biosafety and biocontainment oversight of research and research-related activities at high and maximum containment laboratories in the United States, without hindering the progress of science. The scope of activities considered by the Task Force includes those that occur in all high and maximum containment research laboratories in all sectors (government [Federal, State, Tribal, and municipal], academia, privately funded research institutions, and private industry) utilizing potentially hazardous biological agents. The activities covered include research with disease-causing agents (pathogens) that can infect humans, zoonotic agents that can infect both animals and humans, biologic toxins, and agricultural pathogens and pests. Also included are activities related to research, such as the maintenance of facilities and equipment needed for effective biosafety and biocontainment, incident-reporting, and public outreach and communication efforts. Outside the scope of the Task Force report are non-research activities that take place in diagnostic and treatment (non-research) facilities such as hospitals, clinics, veterinary, and food diagnostic laboratories. Non-research activities in most licensed biomedical production facilities and mobile field analytical laboratories also lie outside the scope of this report because they vary markedly from those of facilities engaged in high and maximum containment research." This report also "discussed the accountability and compliance of individuals and institutions; training and competency of relevant staff at high and maximum containment research institutions; incident-reporting, analysis, and information-sharing; maintenance of facility infrastructure and equipment; applied biosafety research programs; and public communication, outreach, and transparency."
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR): http://www.hhs.gov/aspr/index.html