Expert: CDC's Mishandling Of Pathogens Not an Isolated Incident

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 07:07 PM

By Courtney Coren

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report showing there were safety breaches at some of its labs that handle dangerous pathogens such as anthrax, smallpox and the avian flu, and biological safety expert Debra Sharpe says they were not isolated incidents.

"What is coming out is not so much this one isolated incident, but more of a persistent record of policies and procedures that may not be in place to ensure that the other incidents that were identified in the [Government Accountability Office] report and other inspections from the USDA," Sharpe told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

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According to the CDC, more than 80 lab workers may have been exposed to live anthrax bacteria at one of its laboratories in June.

"The issue here —  I've see this at other institutions as well as a consultant —  is that there is not an institutional approach to safety management and biosafety management," she added.

"That is really what is lacking."

CDC Director Tom Frieden spoke after the report was released, saying he's "upset" and "angry" over the findings.

Sharpe says things have not necessarily become "sloppy" under his watch, but "things have not changed significantly over time."

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