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  • Washington Highlights

    Select Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Biosafety and Biosecurity Standards


    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
    Katherine Cruz, Legislative Analyst
    For Media Inquiries

    The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic held an October 18 hearing titled, “Strengthening Biosafety and Biosecurity Standards: Protecting Against Future Pandemics.” Witnesses included Gerald W. Parker, Jr., DVM, PhD, associate dean for Global One Health at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and Jaime Yassif, PhD, vice president of global biological policy and programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

    Members and witnesses discussed biosafety and biosecurity practices; gain-of-function research; and design, construction, and operation standards for high-containment laboratories. In a key exchange, subcommittee chair Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) acknowledged the dual use of biotechnology and asked witnesses about the positives of advancing research that could lead to a bioweapon. Parker pointed to the ways these technologies have improved the economy and overall health, noted that the intent of most life science research isn’t for misuse, and recommended incentivizing safer alternatives.