Policy ForumBiosafety and Biosecurity

Risk-based reboot for global lab biosafety

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Science  20 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6386, pp. 260-262
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar2231

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  • Terrorism must be considered for biosafety

    Kazunobu Kojima et al. proposed a shift in focus to a risk-based, technology-neutral, and cost-effective approach to biosafety (1). At first it seems reasonable, but it is a big mistake. We have to prepare for unexpected terrorism. I have found why they have changed their minds (2). WHO reported “Terrorism has changed. Today weapons of mass destruction (WMD), horizontal as opposed to conventional hierarchical networks, and indiscriminate targeting are being faced. Thus multidisciplinary collaboration of state and non-state actors is needed.” It looks like they have given up against the attacks of terrorism. The cost-effective approach to biosafety is important, but the sufficient preparation is needed for terrorism.

    References:
    1. Kazunobu Kojima et al., Risk-based reboot for global lab biosafety, Science 20 Apr 2018: Vol. 360, Issue 6386, pp. 260-262
    2. Extended Biosafety Advisory Group (BAG) meeting report (WHO)
    http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/204493/WHO_HSE_GCR_2016....

    Competing Interests: None declared.