High-Containment Laboratories: Coordinated Efforts Needed to Further Strengthen Oversight of Select Agents   [open pdf - 170KB]

"Safety lapses have occurred at laboratories in the United States that conduct research on select agents--such as Ebola virus or anthrax bacteria--that may cause serious or lethal infection in humans, animals, or plants, raising concerns about whether oversight is effective. This statement summarizes information contained in GAO's [Government Accountability Office] October 2017 report, titled High-Containment Laboratories: Coordinated Actions Needed to Enhance the Select Agent Program's Oversight of Hazardous Pathogens (GAO-18-145). [...] GAO's recommendations in GAO-18-145 included that the Federal Select Agent Program (1) assess risks posed by its current structure and address risks as needed; (2) assess the risk of activities it oversees and target reviews to the highest-risk activities; and (3) develop a joint workforce plan. HHS [Health and Human Services] and USDA agreed with GAO's recommendations and outlined actions they are taking, or plan to take, to address them, which GAO will continue to monitor."

Report Number:GAO-18-197T
Publisher:United States. Government Accountability Office
Copyright:Public Domain
Retrieved From:Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Media Type:application/pdf
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