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Md. Creates Panel To Consider Biolab Oversight

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FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is convening a panel to consider possible state oversight of private laboratories that handle hazardous materials.

The Frederick News-Post reported Saturday that the group will hold its first meeting next month in Baltimore.

It will make recommendations to state officials by June 30.

The effort stems from a piece of failed legislation introduced this year by Democratic state Sen. Ron Young of Frederick County.

That bill would have given the public health agency oversight over private laboratories that work with certain dangerous pathogens.

Such labs are monitored annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The panel will include two members of a Frederick advisory committee that monitors laboratory work at Fort Detrick.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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