Bioterror/Biowar

MNA expresses concerns about unusual activity recently at BMC/BU biolab facility site

Mary Crotty, RN, Massachusetts Nurses Association, August 18, 2011

On Saturday, August 6, 2011, I was contacted concerning the sighting by several nurses and other Boston Medical Center staff of a large number of police cars (an estimated 8 cars) accompanying a very large unusual, covered truck entering the biolab facility site early in the morning (staff coming on the day shift saw a cavalcade of vehicles, lights flashing, etc).

The truck had a canvas covering with a small triangle on it and was there throughout the day. When the day shift staff left they noticed the vehicle still parked by the Security Booth at the lab site.

Community Questions BU’s Sudden Waiver Request

Roxbury Safety Net & the STOP the BU-Bio-Terror-Lab Coalition, August 12, 2011

For 9 years, the Roxbury Safety Net and the STOP the BU Bio-Terror Lab Coalition have demanded that Boston University abide by applicable state and federal environmental laws in its development of the National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratories (NEIDL) at Boston Medical Center. The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) require Boston University to prove through mandated risk assessment processes that BU has assessed and quantified the risks associated with their project and that the risk levels are acceptable.

BU biolab may start research this fall

Will seek waiver for lesser hazards. Carolyn Y. Johnson, Boston Globe, August 12, 2011 A controversial Boston University laboratory building that has stood empty since construction finished in 2008 may open this fall to biomedical research involving pathogens less hazardous than those that sparked opposition to the project. BU officials plan to announce today that they will seek a waiver from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to begin work on biosafety level-2 research - defined by the federal government as “involving agents that pose moderate hazards to personnel and the environment.’’ ... BU

BU seeks state OK to open biolab

Associated Press, August 12, 2011 Boston University plans to ask the state for permission to study less hazardous biological agents at a completed biolab also designed to study some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The $200 million, 192,000-square-foot facility on the university’s medical campus was completed in 2008 but has not been used because it has been tangled in the permitting process and challenged in court. Opponents say the lab is too close to their residential neighborhood. The National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories was designed in part for researching some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens, including Ebola and plague.

NEIDL News

Office of the Provost, Boston University Medical Campus, August 12, 2011

As you may be aware, construction on the National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratories (NEIDL) is complete but litigation has prevented the opening of the building’s laboratories. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is conducting a supplemental risk assessment study that should be available for public comment late this year.

BU to Seek Permission for Low-Level Research at NEIDL

Risk assessment will continue. Art Jahnke, BU Today, August 11, 2011 Boston University will ask the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs later this month for permission to conduct lower-level biosafety research in its National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL), located on the BU Medical Campus in the South End. Construction on the $200 million facility was completed in September 2008, but controversy and litigation surrounding the proposed study of agents requiring the highest biosafety level, known as Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4), has kept the building’s 192,000 square feet of laboratory space closed. ... BU

National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories Announcement

Office of the Provost, Boston University Medical Campus, August 1, 2011

India Finishing Work on High-Security Biolab

Anuradha Mascarenhas, Indian Express, August 2, 2011 India's National Institute of Virology has almost finished work on the nation's first Biosafety Level 4 laboratory, which would conduct research on some of the world's most highly contagious and lethal pathogens, the Indian Express reported on Tuesday. The BSL-4 laboratory, located at the NIV campus in Pashan, is expected be operational no later than November. The laboratory is being built to the highest biosafety standards. Biosafety Level 4 laboratories are authorized to handle diseases for which there are no known cures, such as the Ebola and Marburg viruses. There are reportedly fewer than 40 such facilities on the planet ... India

The tech cluster glut

Paul McMorrow, Boston Globe, July 9, 2011 Somebody in Boston is about to get burned by the promise of high-tech development. Boston has four major medical and biotech clusters in various stages of assemblage. They’re all competing with Cambridge. Increasingly, it’s looking like Crosstown, the mayor’s last attempt at research-driven neighborhood-building, will be the odd cluster out, a victim of the city’s successes along the South Boston waterfront Research clusters exist because good things happen when like-minded folks, be they colleagues or competitors, work alongside each other. By definition, clusters demand density. The bigger they are, the better. ... The

Revisiting Mueller and the anthrax case

David Willman, Boston Globe, June 15, 2011 FBI director Robert Mueller, a Republican who was appointed 10 years ago by President George W. Bush, has been paid a supreme compliment: Bush’s Democratic successor wants to keep him on the job another two years. Before agreeing to extend his term, though, Congress and President Obama should examine Mueller’s role in overseeing one of the most consequential investigations in the annals of federal law enforcement. My research for “The Mirage Man,’’ a book that explores the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, documents that Mueller exerted far-reaching control over the FBI-led ... Revisiting

Widow of anthrax victim doubts FBI's conclusion

Curt Anderson, Associated Press, May 19, 2011

Miami - The widow of a Florida tabloid photo editor who died in the 2001 anthrax mailings is casting fresh doubt on the FBI's conclusion that a lone federal scientist staged the attacks, according to new documents filed in her lawsuit against the government.

Maureen Stevens' change of position is based on sworn statements made by two of the scientist's superiors who said they don't believe Bruce Ivins was solely to blame for the attacks that killed five people, including her husband Robert Stevens, and sickened 17 others in fall 2001. The anthrax was mailed to locations in New York, Florida and Washington, DC, including a Senate office building.

House votes to cut KBA role in funding of bio lab

Dion Lefler, Wichita Eagle, May 12, 2011 Topeka - A bill cutting the Kansas Bioscience Authority out of handling more than $100 million in bonds for a major bioterrorism lab under development at Kansas State University won approval in the state House on Wednesday. Under House Substitute for Senate Bill 154, the state Department of Administration, which falls under the governor's control, would replace the KBA in issuing $105 million in bonds to develop the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. The nine-member State Finance Council, made up of the governor and leaders from the House and Senate, would have final control over the bond process. ... House

Report details deficiencies in plans for proposed Detrick facility

Brian Englar, Frederick News-Post, April 30, 2011 Plans for a risk assessment for a proposed Fort Detrick facility are missing a number of critical elements, according to a report issued Friday. A committee from the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences was called upon by the Army to evaluate the approach to developing a Site Specific Risk Assessment for the Medical Countermeasures Test and Evaluation Facility, a $600 million operation that will be used for testing new drugs and vaccines on animal subjects for both military and civilian purposes. The decision to have the plans evaluated by an outside party ... Report

Risk assessments for BU lab called incomplete

Bio Prep Watch, November 24, 2010 Scientists have declared that the initial risk assessments of the Biosafety Level-4 laboratory at Boston University were incomplete and that they cannot yet endorse its future purpose of deadly bacteria and viruses like anthrax, bubonic plague and Ebola. Located in the South End of Boston, the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory is meant to house samples. A contingent of concerned citizens has started an anti-biolab campaign, The Daily Free Press reports. The National Research Council committee reviewed the risk assessment info that had been provided by the National Institutes of Health ... Risk

An Alternative Vision for the BU Bio-Terror Lab

Sign the Petition!
Target: The National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institute of Health, Boston University, Blue Ribbon Panel and Mayor Menino
Sponsored by:  Roxbury Safety Net & STOP the BU Bio-Terror Lab Coalition
We Challenge: The National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) to change the NEIDL's mission to broad-spectrum countermeasure and vaccine-platform approaches and away from one bug, one drug approaches, given NIAID's own refocus on broad-spectrum approaches. ... Sign!

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