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CDC Anthrax Accident Reveals More Agency Blunders

Dr Mercola | Mercola
caution biohazardEarlier this month, we ran a report on the CDC anthrax blunder. As if that weren't bad enough, there have been additional exposures since we posted that report. This time, it involved the shipment of live, highly contagious, and deadly H5N1 avian influenza samples.

As previously reported, as many as 841 scientists and staff members at a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) biolab were exposed to live anthrax in June. The live pathogen had been sent from a higher-security facility.

Biosafety protocols were apparently not followed at either of the facilities. The anthrax sample was supposed to have been inactivated prior to transfer, but due to multiple protocol breaches, it was still “live” upon arrival.


In addition to failing to properly inactivate the pathogen, samples were also found to have been transferred in Ziploc bags, and stored in unlocked storage refrigerators in an area where unauthorized personnel were free to wander by.

The director of the CDC's Bioterror Rapid Response and Advanced Technology Laboratory, Michael Farrell, was reassigned,2 from his posts, voluntarily resigned on July 22.34 Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, head of the CDC, has now issued a report5that admits to sloppy work ethics at the lab.

The Old Adage Holds True: If You Fail to Plan, You're Planning to Fail…

According to the CDC's internal investigation, senior staff members at the receiving facility had not created a written plan for the researchers to follow when studying the deadly pathogen.

Scientists also did not review existing literature before beginning their work. What few instructions were obtained were given over the phone, and poor communication led to some of the errors. As noted by Rutgers University chemistry professor Richard H. Ebright:6
“It is ironic that the institution that sets US standards for safety and security of work with human pathogens fails to meet its own standards. It is clear that the CDC cannot be relied upon to police its own select-agent labs.”


The report also admits to two additional anthrax incidents, both of which occurred in 2006. Neither of these incidents had previously been disclosed to the public. In both instances, the CDC “accidentally” shipped live anthrax to two different labs.

A third erroneous shipment involved live botulism bacteria. It seems we can all count ourselves lucky that the CDC hasn't killed large numbers of people yet through all these sloppy mistakes!

As noted in a recent Scientific American article,7 intentional and/or unintentional releases of deadly agents from high security laboratories have actually proven farmore deadly, not to mention far more frequent, than any organized terrorist attack using bioweapons…

For the moment, Dr. Frieden has shut down the CDC's bioterror labs, and no shipments are allowed to leave the agency's highest-security labs, pending a thorough review of safety protocols.

CDC Accidentally Ships Wrong Flu Virus to Poultry Researchers

Incredibly, there's been yet another accidental release of a deadly virus since the anthrax debacle, and CDC leaders didn't even learn about it until a month after it occurred.

Turns out CDC scientists shipped deadly H5N1 avian influenza samples to a Department of Agriculture poultry research lab.8 They were supposed to send a far more benign variety for study… The error appears to have been discovered when all of the exposed chickens died.

The Agriculture Department reported the frightful mix-up on May 23, but CDC staffers didn't report the error to senior management at the CDC until July 7! Dr. Frieden was reportedly “stunned and appalled” upon hearing the belated news.

“The recent revelations have created a crisis of faith in the federal agency, prompting calls for an independent body to investigate such episodes in the future, as well as for sweeping changes at the agency and to a sprawling web of research labs…” the New York Times9 writes.

One can only wonder: had this accidental exposure actually resulted in some sort of mini pandemic, would this mistake ever have seen the light of day? More than likely, it would have been covered up and used as justification for additional vaccinations.

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