Feds to create list of pathogens, toxins that pose greatest riskThe Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture are tasked with creating a tiered list based on how likely each pathogen or toxin could be used to create a mass casualty incident
By Homeland1 Staff
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has ordered federal agencies to identify which hazardous pathogens and toxins could cause the most damage if used for an attack in the United States.
Security regulating Biological Select Agents and Toxins — which government researchers use to prepare for an attack — needs to be tightened to prevent misuse, according to the White House.
The Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture are tasked with creating a tiered list based on how likely each pathogen or toxin could be used to create a mass casualty incident.
The administration is concerned over misuse of government supplies, citing the 2001 anthrax mailings case in which the perpetrator was likely a U.S. Government researcher.
The departments will work with the Department of Justice and FBI to revise Select Agent Regulations, Rules and guidance, which include BSATs.
Revisions will communicate specific physical security and personnel reliability practices that must be used in accordance with the new tiered Select Agent list.
Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security will advise the SAP on recommended physical security practices for high-risk pathogens and toxins as part of a Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel comprised of federal security experts and scientists.