March 23, 2004 - Biosecurity Workshop and Request for Comments on Biosecurity

Dear Colleague:

On April 12 the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are holding a public workshop on “Laboratory Biosecurity: A Culture of Responsibility.” The workshop is focused on all biological laboratory settings, from research to clinical laboratories, including laboratories that are not involved with select agents. The purpose of the workshop is to solicit comments on the successes and challenges associated with implementing biosecurity procedures and protocols. The outcome of the discussion is intended to help identify good practices and help guide recommendations. Of particular interest is public comment on the issues which are outlined in the March 23 Federal Register notice in the pink box on the left side of this page. Both oral and written comments are encouraged. To make oral comment or to send written comments, contact Rachel E. Levinson, OSTP, at or fax your request/comments to (202) 456-6027. For further information call, (202) 456-6130 prior to 3:00 p.m. on April 9.

Background information on the updating of the publication “Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories,” the BMBL, and plans for a chapter on biosecurity and an appendix on select agents is included in the Federal Register notice. The public comments on the success and challenges implementing biosecurity will be taken into consideration in the drafting of the biosecurity chapter.


Gail H. Cassell, Ph.D., ASM Public and Scientific Affairs Board
Kenneth I. Berns, M.D., Ph.D., ASM Task Force on Biological Weapons Control
Janet Shoemaker, Director, ASM Office of Public and Scientific Affairs



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