Originally published September 29 2014
FDA's 'forgotten freezer' contains dozens of biological agents
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) A 1995 far-fetched (time-travel) sci-fi movie 12 Monkeys featured a man-made virus that had to be found in order to create an antidote for the disease that forced its few survivors to live underground. In order to find that original cache of vials containing the infectious virus, one the survivors had to go back in time... etc, etc.
Viewing that film makes one pause on the plausibility of some "save the planet; kill yourself" nut or group walking off with an experimental batch of man-made bioweapons and releasing them with massive lethal results.
Bottom line: This bioweapon business is hazardous to whole environments and large masses of humanity. So why are we and others playing bioweapon roulette? Perhaps it's the thrill of scientific exploration and discovery, or the rush of playing with deadly stealth materials. Maybe it's just plain nuts.
The recent discovery of lost pathogen packages in FDA storageA recent real-life episode that recently occurred within the FDA reminds one of the dangerous implications of having contagious Tier 1 materials around.
The FDA defines Tier 1 agents as those that "present the greatest risk of deliberate misuse with significant potential for mass casualties or devastating effect to the economy, critical infrastructure or public confidence and pose a severe threat to public health and safety."
Six vials of Tier 1 viral strains of smallpox were discovered after decades of having been forgotten or misplaced in an FDA cold storage facility located on the grounds of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. The six vials of smallpox strains, labeled "variola," were discovered among 327 lost, mostly contagious sample vials in 12 cardboard boxes.
Some were labeled dengue, influenza or Q fever, which has similar symptoms to the flu but is carried to humans by animals. Most of the items were vaccine preparations or samples for diseases that aren't Tier 1, and are not so practical as bioweapons. But the Tier 1 smallpox strain could qualify as a bioweapon.
The labels were dated mostly to the 1950s. The six vials clearly labeled "variola," or smallpox, along with 10 vials not clearly marked, were handed over to the CDC for storage in compliance with an accord made with Russia during the Cold War in 1979.
Both sides agreed that a storage facility near Novosibirsk, Russia, and the CDC's facility in Atlanta were to be the only two repositories for smallpox strains.
The idea of having so many facilities storing smallpox strains throughout the world created a potential 12 Monkeys doomsday scenario. Especially since wild smallpox cases are no longer occurring.
So this accord was made legally binding throughout the world. All smallpox strain samples needed to be safely destroyed or transferred to either one of those two designated repositories.
Another 32 vials of materials, 28 marked as normal tissue and four labeled "vaccinia," the virus used to make smallpox vaccines, were destroyed according to safety protocols.
Transferring the 16 vials to the CDC's high-containment facility and destroying those other 32 left 279 vials, which were sent to the Department of Homeland Security in Maryland.
FDA officials shocked and making excusesOne official claimed that they were there before the FDA took control of the cold storage facility on the NIH campus. Another said they were being prepared for shipping and then forgotten.
The FDA official statement: "While an investigation continues regarding the origin of these samples, this collection was most likely assembled between 1946 and 1964 when standards for work with and storage of biological specimens were very different from those used today. ... [The vials] were well-packed, intact and free of any leakage, and there is no evidence that anyone was exposed to these agents."
But why did it take so long, around 50 years, to even know that Tier 1 samples were there?
The FDA vowed to sweep through any and all of their cold storage units. But what about that Ebola strain in CDC storage that was patented by the U.S. Government?
Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com
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