Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Trouble in the air at Fort Detrick

Latest biodefense facility adds risky element to already high-risk environment
February 28, 2011|By Kenneth King

Frederick residents have had plenty of reminders lately why they should be concerned about the biodefense facilities in their midst: an ongoing cancer cluster investigation related to past groundwater contamination, an Agent Orange protest, and headlines about the 2001 anthrax attacks — which the FBI still insists were perpetrated by a researcher at Fort Detrick's U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).

Little wonder, then, if Frederick residents are troubled about the latest risky biodefense facility at Fort Detrick: a 460,000-square-foot Medical Countermeasures and Test Facility, which, it appears, will aerosolize large numbers of monkeys with bioweapons agents.

The facility joins three other huge, new biosafety level 4 facilities (studying diseases for which there is no effective cure or treatment, and required the highest level of precautions) already being constructed at Fort Detrick by the Army, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Homeland Security — an ongoing explosion that occurred even as the FBI was identifying Detrick as the source of anthrax spores used against Americans in 2001.

READ MORE: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-02-28/news/bs-ed-detrick-20110228_1_biodefense-fort-detrick-usamriid

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