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Biodefense Panel Urges More Army Transparency

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FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A panel of civilian scientists is urging the Army to be more transparent about its plans for an animal biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick in Frederick.

The National Academy of Sciences committee expressed its concerns Friday in a letter to the commander of the Army’s Medical Research and Materiel Command.

The Army sought the academy’s help in preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed laboratory. The facility would be used for animal studies on pathogens and countermeasures that require a high level of containment to prevent human exposure.

After reviewing the Army’s proposal for assessing the exposure risk, the committee is recommending that the Army reveal more information about the pathogens that are likely to be tested.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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