Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Labwatch 2007 Year-end Wrap-up

Time for a wrap-up of the past years biolab related news. Below are the
major themes that emerged this year with related article links.

U.W. on probation
In February in anticipation of documents being released to the public,
the University of Washington leaked to the press that their animal
research programs had been put on probation during November of
the previous year. The nine page report listed numerous violations,
many stemming from the UW’s lack of maintenance dating back more
than 20 years. Additionally the report identified a lack of internal
oversight of the UW's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

UW on probation for animal lab violations - Seattle PI 02/13/07
"Serious deficiencies" in UW's animal care - Seattle Times 02/13/07
Animal Testing: Increase oversight - Seattle PI 02/15/07

Labs being built in SLU at record pace
While local papers discuss businesses like Amazon moving to South Lake
Union, they choose to downplay that more high-containment biolabs are
being built next door to the neighborhoods condos and grocery stores.

Biotech projects spring to life - Puget Sound Business Journal 01/19/07
Betting on biotech adding more room - Seattle Times 04/24/07
Water gushes in South Lake Union area after road crew breaks main -
Seattle Times 04/25/07
Developer buys Cascade block for $22 million - Seattle-PI 05/10/07
Children's Hospital eyes South Lake Union site for $40M - Seattle
Business Journal 05/11/07
Growth spurt for Children's - Seattle Times 05/18/07
Children's Hospital acquires Denny Triangle tower - Seattle Times

Citizen opposition to biolabs spreading across U.S.
Across the U.S. citizen groups are forming in opposition to existing and
proposed biolabs. From Boston to Berkeley and Seattle to Durham,
citizens are organizing vocal opposition to building dangerous labs in
their communities.

City Objects to BU Biolab Building Harvard Crimson 01/10/07
Biolab security issues gain attention at coffee - Tonganoxie Mirror
Dunn says ‘No’ to facility - The Badger Herald 04/25/07
In-Depth: Not in Dunn’s backyard - Badger Herald 05/03/07
Biotech protest draws modest turnout - Boston Globe 05/07/07
Boston Residents Face to Face with Bio-War - Inter Press Service
UW, town in tiff over lab turf - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 05/21/07
Cattlemen end support for biolab - The Missourian 07/03/07
Detrick opponents call for end to growth - Frederick News Post 08/26/07
Judge's remarks irk BU biolab opponents - Boston Globe 09/06/07
Some sure, some not, of lab's safety - Athens Banner-Herald 09/15/07
Residents Voice Concerns Over Bio-Defense Lab - WRAL Raleigh 09/18/07
Hundreds turn out for BioLab hearing - South End News Boston 09/20/07
The battle against the bio-lab - Independent Weekly 10/10/07
Biolab faces new scrutiny from state - Boston Globe 10/14/07
Facing down 'big dogs' on NBAF site - Athens Banner-Herald 10/14/07
Scientists spar at BioLab hearing - South End News Boston 10/25/07
Group Demands Full Report on Impact of Livermore Lab Bioterrorism
Research Facility - The Daily Californian 11/01/07
Biolab protest creates horrific scene - The Daily Free Press Boston 11/08/07
Biodefense lab causing qualms - Baltimore Sun 11/19/07
Public discusses Fort Detrick lab expansion - Frederick News Post 11/20/07
Commissioners split on Detrick review - Frederick News Post 11/28/07
Experts 'Fail' Risk Analysis for Boston Bioterror Lab - Washington Post 11/29/07
US review of BU biolab inadequate, panel finds - Boston Globe 11/30/07
Menino says biolab ’will go forward’ - Boston Globe 12/12/07
SJC upholds biolab ruling requiring further environmental review -
Boston Globe 12/13/07
Ruling may stall opening of biolab - Boston Globe 12/14/07
Not sound, not credible - Frederick News Post 12/17/07
Butner lab foes step up efforts - The News & Observer 12/18/07
Biolab protesters appeal to Durham - The Durham News 12/22/07
Doctors Take Different Stances on Biodefense Lab in Butner -
WRAL Raleigh, NC 12/25/07

Texas A&M Biodefense program shut down (for now)
In July Texas A&M had their biodefense program shut down by the CDC
for a long list of previously unreported violations. Documents dug up by
The Sunshine Project (www.sunshine-project.org) and released to the
public revealed multiple exposures to lab personnel over a period of
four years. This marks the first time that a federally funded biodefense
program has been shut down by CDC.

A&M faces inquiry over brucella infection - The Eagle 04/18/07
A&M under investigation after disease transmission - The Batt 04/24/07
CDC probes A&M bioweapons infections - Dallas Morning News 06/27/07
CDC investigates A&M - The Battalion 06/28/07
CDC suspends A&M research on infectious diseases -
Dallas Morning News 07/01/07
A&M admits errors in bioagent case - Dallas Morning News 07/03/07
A&M lab employee lacked clearance in bioagent case -
Dallas Morning News 07/28/07
Texas A&M admits violating rule - Bryan-College Station Eagle 07/28/07
A&M research chief steps down amid bioagent lab furor -
Dallas Morning News 08/01/07
CDC reprimands Texas A&M over lab safety - Dallas Morning News 09/04/07
CDC finds breaches at A&M disease lab - Houston Chronicle 09/05/07
A&M biosafety director resigns in wake of CDC report -
Dallas Morning News 09/05/07
Second Texas A&M research official resigns amid biosafety report -
Dallas Morning News 09/06/07
A&M chief vows to fix lab troubles - Houston Chronicle 09/07/07
Until this year, CDC missed worst of A&M lab problems -
Dallas Morning News 09/25/07
Ex-Texas A&M head of biodefense research, Richard Ewing, dead at 61
- Dallas Morning News 12/06/07
A&M unsure when federal ban on its biodefense research will be lifted -
Dallas Morning News 12/27/07
A&M biodefense work still banned - Houston Chronicle 12/28/07

Accidents much worse than previously reported
An investigation by the Associated Press revealed in October that U.S.
biolabs had more than 100 accidents and missing shipments since 2003,
and that numbers were increasing steadily as more labs began biodefense

U.S. labs mishandling deadly germs - Associated Press 10/02/07
Mishandled Germs - Associated Press 10/02/07

Congress holds hearing on biolab proliferation
In response to the U.S. biolab building boom combined with the unreported
lab accidents and mishaps, Congress held hearings in November.

House panel asked to look at biowar labs - UPI 07/31/07
Biosafety lapses prompt govt. review - The Scientist 09/25/07
No snap inspections at high-level germ labs - Associated Press 10/04/07
U.S. Called Lax at Policing Labs Handling Biohazards - New York Times 10/05/07

Proposed regulations for Seattle biolabs
In 2005 the Northeast District Council recommended that the City of
Seattle establish citizen oversight of existing labs. In response we now
have a proposed set of regulations for biolabs, based on those successfully
adopted in Boston.


What can you do?
Your individual support can be the difference between a city filled
with unregulated high-containment biolabs versus a city where citizens
make the decisions that affect their health and safety. Though regulations
are not the end-all solution to neighborhoods dealing with potentially
hazardous facilities, we believe it’s an important first step in bringing back
citizen oversight and control to our community. Please ask groups you
belong to (especially neighborhood councils) to endorse our proposed


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