GMU Biodefense Perspective: Changes to the Select Agent List

By Tom Krietzer, Biodefense MS student
X-ray of a SARS patient
X-ray of a SARS patient’s lungs

The bio-security/ scientific progress dilemma is not one to go away. Obviously, those charged with bio-security will always attempt to ensure that only certain people have access to these agents. Those persons with access need to be vetted for security concerns for obvious reasons.

The scientific community will always feel that security/safety professionals stymie scientific progress for unnecessary rules and regulations. Those within the scientific community regularly showcase annoyance towards safety/security experts because the inherent openness of science contradicts the operational security requirements in bio-security.
My opinion, the change is warranted to ensure that those with access are vetted for proper security concerns. Scientists may see this as a detriment, but we need to ensure that those who have access should have access.
Disagree with Tom? The FAR is accepting comments on the rule change now – give them a piece of your mind (it can be a friendly piece) by commenting on the rule change here.

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