"Over several decades, Congress has enacted legislation to fund research into the origins and mechanisms of the causes and transmission of disease with the intent to spur the development of treatments and to improve public health. It has also enacted legislation in order to improve the security of biological pathogens. A recently implemented federal research moratorium has highlighted concerns about the general appropriateness of this research and the sufficiency of these biosecurity efforts. Policymakers focused on the intersection of public health and scientific research may question whether a moratorium appropriately balances federal interests in developing disease countermeasures with concerns over the potential of altered pathogens escaping research laboratories."
CRS Insight, IN10184
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html