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MD Senator Calls on Government to Address Biolab Safety Concerns

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Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin called on the government to address potential safety concerns at labs studying dangerous biological pathogens.

Last year the F.B.I. pinpointed a former scientist at Fort Detrick as the main suspect in the anthrax attacks after nine eleven. Bruce Ivins suffered from depression. At a Capitol Hill hearing, some experts argued for including mental health screening in background checks for those working at the labs.

Fifteen different agencies have high security labs studying biological materials. Cardin says Congress needs to craft that will force the agencies to work together. "How you deal with the pathogens in the labs so you keep track of it, so we have a national policy of what we need, how we deal with research and how we deal with safety, how we train, and how we do background checks."

Experts testifying before the committee proposed the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to regulate the agencies.

Peter Granitz reports...

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