Houise Energy and Commerce Committee calls for anthrax investigation

Following reports of potential live anthrax samples being sent to several national laboratories, leading members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have requested briefings and investigations into the matter, the committee announced Thursday.

According to a CNN report, a Maryland lab alerted the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that it received live spore samples from the military. Because the samples were thought to be deceased, less rigorous and protective packaging was used.

In both letters, chairmen of both the full committee and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Tim Murphy (R-OH), and ranking members, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) and Rep. Dianna DeGette D-CO), requested briefings by both institutions by June 5.

"The department's inadvertent transfer of live anthrax samples, just like similar incidents at the CDC last year, raise serious safety concerns about the sufficiency of inactivation protocols and procedures for studying dangerous pathogens,” the representatives said in their letter.

They had also requested that the Governmental Accountability Office look into the protocols and measures relating to biosafety inactivation and attenuation prior to the report coming out.

Shipments are said to have taken place over one year beginning in March 2014.

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U.S. Representative Fred Upton (MI-6)

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