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Analyses for Boston Biodefense Lab Risk Assessment Need Midcourse Correction – New Report

Preliminary analyses prepared by the National Institutes of Health for its supplemental assessment of the risks associated with operating the proposed biodefense laboratory at Boston University are not likely to lead to a thorough assessment of public health concerns, according to a new report from the National Research Council. The committee that wrote the report said it could not endorse the analyses as scientifically and technically sound and called for a midcourse correction.

The laboratory, which is situated in Boston's South End district, includes a Biosafety Level-4 facility for the study of deadly pathogens as part of the BioSquare Phase II project. This is the third Research Council report that provides input on the scope and design of additional studies that may be needed to assess the risks associated with the biodefense lab.

Continuing Assistance to NIH on Preparation of Additional Risk Assessments for the Boston University NEIDL, Phase 2 is available for immediate release. Reporters may obtain copies by contacting the Office of News and Public Information at tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail news@nas.edu.