Committee leaders expand inquiry into anthrax shipment

Leaders from both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee requested documents relating to biosafety inspections of the Dugway Proving Ground on Friday.

Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) sent letters to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OIG) requesting documents dating back to 2006 relating to safety inspections.

“We remain deeply concerned by the issue of inactivation protocols and procedures for studying dangerous pathogens in our federal research laboratories, an issue that this committee has been overseeing since similar incidents occurred at the CDC more than a year ago," they said in the letters. "We understand that Dugway was inspected a number of times in the past decade by the CDC’s Division of Select Agent and Toxins as part of the federal select agent program. We are requesting copies of all inspection records, referrals of enforcement action to the HHS OIG, and any corrective action plans issued to Dugway."

It has been reported that samples of live anthrax spores were accidentally sent to 69 labs nationwide and in five countries from the Dugway facility.

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U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce

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