Sunday, September 13, 2009

Worrying Smallpox Research Trends

The WHO (pronounced W.H.O.) has been meeting repeatedly over the past few years to discuss research direction and restrictions. There has been good reason for this, as new techniques have made it harder to determine where to draw the line. Some of the worrying trends regarding research have been highlighted by Lim Li Ching, a Senior Fellow at The Oakland Institute.

His three main objections are summarized as follows:

1. A laboratory linked to the US government and whose work includes designing weapons of mass destruction for the US army has initiated experiments with variola virus genes engineered into other organisms, using smallpox genes that are not from a WHO-authorized repository, but synthesized by a company

2. A US government biosecurity committee has proposed that domestic US legal restrictions on possession of variola virus be repealed, which would effectively allow possession of the virus.

3. The WHO advisory committee overseeing the remaining stocks of smallpox virus and research using it seems to be backpedaling on some of its previous decisions. Prompted by disagreement over if and how the WHO should control synthesized variola genes, it is also reviewing the rules restricting the distribution of smallpox DNA and the type of research allowed. Critics fear that, given the committee's previous attempt to weaken these rules, this could be a dangerous move.

This all seems fairly worrying, especially how one of them seems to suggest that the US may still be investing in Biowarfare.... Read the full article for more information:

Matthew Goodyear

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