Biosecurity - Labs lack funds to maintain safety

March 27, 2008

Universities have to "beg and scrape" for money to maintain high-security pathogen laboratories adequately, George Griffin, chairman of the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens, last week told the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Select Committee inquiry on biosecurity in UK research labs. He expressed doubts over proposals to build a new superlaboratory in London, citing the possibility of breakdowns or major outbreaks. His comments come after publication this month of an independent review of the 2007 foot-and-mouth outbreak, which found problems with the buildings on the Pirbright Laboratory site where the disease is thought to have leaked from.

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