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Testimony: Statement of Shelton Young, Director, Readiness and Logistics Support Directorate, Office of the Inspector General, Department of Defense, before the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, House Committee on Government Reform on "Emerging Threats: Assessing DoD Controls of Critical Chemical and Biological Equipment and Material"

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This testimony presents the results of an Interagency Summary Report on Security Controls Over Biological Agents. The August 27, 2003, report consolidates issues identified in 27 reports published by the Offices of the Inspectors General of the Departments of Agriculture, Army, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs. The summary report identified nine systemic problems physical security, personnel access controls, inventory accountability and controls, contingency plans, registration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, import and export of agents, safety and security training, management oversight, and policies and procedures. Deficiencies in security controls have serious implications for the health of United States citizens, should those controls be breached and biological agents removed from the facility. Subsequent misuse of the biological agents could have serious health consequences and disrupt the countrys agriculture, commerce, economy, and industry. Biological agents are micro-organisms, or their toxins, that cause or may cause human, animal, or plant diseases. Such disease-causing biological agents are termed pathogens. Select agents are pathogenic biological agents specifically described as having the potential to pose a severe threat to public or agricultural health and safety. For instance, anthrax Bacillus anthracis, smallpox Variola major, and the Ebola viruses are considered select agents by the CDC, while foot-and-mouth disease virus and classical swine fever virus are considered select agents by the Department of Agriculture. The CDC has identified 36 biological agents as select agents due to their potentially devastating effect on human populations. Correspondingly, the Department of Agriculture has identified an additional 33 biological agents as posing a threat to U.S. agricultural livestock or crop commodities.

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  • Medical Facilities, Equipment and Supplies
  • Defense Systems
  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare

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