ATS: US Reluctant To Share Important Flu Samples

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posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 09:03 AM
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The USA just defined the 1918 Bird Flu virus as a "select agent" under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. Like today's Bird Flu, the 1918 Bird Flu also passed directly from birds to people. Studying the genetic structure helps scientists understand how that can happen. It was hoped that researchers could use the virus to develop better antiviral drugs and influenza vaccines. As a "select agent" however, access to virus samples will be restricted. The US was censured last month in international science journals for hoarding flu data. The news of the US restricting access to flu samples parallels the announcement of an emergency international meeting in Canada to strengthen the international response to bird flu.
 



msnbc.msn.com
The researchers who reconstructed the 1918 flu virus studied mutations in the genes, to see why it became so deadly. ...They compared it with the H5N1 avian influenza virus now sweeping through poultry in many Asian countries and into European countries including Russia and Romania. ...They found the 1918 flu virus appeared to also have passed directly from being a bird flu virus to being one that infected people, based on its genetic structure.

"The virus was reconstructed to aid public health officials in preparing for the possibility of another pandemic of influenza. It will also be helpful to biomedical scientists as they seek to understand what made the virus so harmful and to develop better antiviral drugs and influenza vaccines," the CDC said in a statement.

The CDC lists 41 other organisms or toxins as select agents under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.

***

Flu Researchers Slam US for Hoarding Data

***

Health ministers and heads of heads of key international organizations will gather in Ottawa next week to strengthen the international response to an anticipated influenza pandemic that some scientists say may already be developing in the form of bird flu. ...“Canada is encouraging all countries to collaborate on a global planning effort to reduce the risk of a possible influenza pandemic. Countries must do their best to support each other by sharing information and plans as well as skills and resources,” Ian Shugart, an assistant deputy minister with Health Canada, told a Thursday morning press conference.

That meeting will bring together, for the first time, ministers of health and senior officials from about 30 developed and developing countries and well as the heads of key international organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health. ...The invited officials hope to build on a number of international initiatives including the WHO's Strategic Plan for Pandemic Preparedness and the United States International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza.

They will discuss how to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, including the H5N1 avian virus that is the current focus of global concern, both among animals and from animals to humans, said Mr. Shugart. ...They will also discuss improving early detection and response to an influenza outbreak, vaccine development and access, and how to ensure accurate and timely sharing of information both before and during a pandemic.

World health officials to meet in Ottawa to discuss flu



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


In order to deal with the coming pandemic successfully, it is critical for scientists to understand the 1918 bird flu on a molecular level. Such understanding is only possible if scientists have access to samples.

Defining the 1918 bird flu virus as a "select agent" makes scientific research on bird flu a political issue - not a matter of public health. By definition, researchers using the samples must be located within the USA, for oversight.

The move will obstruct the development of more effective diagnostic tests, anti-virals that actually work, and vaccines.

Instead of helping Americans and protecting the nation, this action simply will muzzle US scientists, prevent the sharing of certain pertinent information with other nations' scientists, and obstruct international response to the coming bird flu epidemic.




About Select Agents:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulates the possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety. The CDC Select Agent Program oversees these activities and registers all laboratories and other entities in the United States of America that possess, use, or transfer a select agent or toxin.

The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) published final rules for the possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins (42 C.F.R. Part 73, 7 C.F.R. Part 331, and 9 C.F.R. Part 121) in the Federal Register on March 18, 2005. All provisions of these final rules supersede those contained in the interim final rules and became effective on April 18, 2005.

Source: Announcement for Entities Impacted by Hurricane Katrina

**

Select Agent Program: HHS Final Rule Cover

The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) published final rules, which implement the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 setting forth the requirements for possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins. The select agents and toxins identified in the final rules have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, to animal and plant health, or to animal and plant products.

All provisions of these final rules supersede those contained in the interim final rules and became effective on April 18, 2005.


In a move that many university researchers welcome, the government has slightly relaxed new regulations aimed at beefing up security at biodefense research labs.




Also see:

U.S. restricts 1918 flu virus samples

Experts to convene bird flu summit in Canada

Modern world helps, hinders bird flu fight-expert

Countries strive to tackle bird flu amid growing fears

Latin America keeps alert against bird flu


[edit on 22-10-2005 by SkepticOverlord]




posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 10:17 AM
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LOL! Whatever happened to 'the 1918 ful is a bird flu'? Oh, well...

So the Canadians want us and everyone else to share our information. I say let's do it. And while we are at it we will also do what the UN wants us to do and share the internet (because the Euros don't have computers). But in return we want everyone to share with the US 90% of their oil reserve production at 1% of the cost. I left 10% for their own needs since it is only the US that really pollutes and uses the cars and oil and everything....right?



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 10:28 AM
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Ah here we go :shk:

First, why is this submitted as a war on terrorism article???

While you cut and pasted the article around to suit your unique point of view the second that you nicely leave out paragraph states:


Researchers who want to work with the virus, which killed anywhere between 20 million and 100 million people, depending on the estimate, will have to register with the CDC and account for their samples.

“We’ve learned why this virus was so deadly and we know it’s easily transmitted from person to person,” CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said in a statement.


So let me get this straight you have an issue with the CDC making sure that researchers are accountable for thier samples and that they are not just issued to any Tom, Dick, Or Harry??????

Note the Sub Headline for the article quoted:
Standard procedure for such a dangerous organism

Again what is the problem? If Canadian research or government scientist want access to the virus that has h2h transmission capacities they will have to register and follow procedures. Not as ominous as your OP/ED hit pieces make it out to be eh?

Hmmmmmmmm


Researchers wishing to study the 1918 virus can ask the CDC for samples. Gerberding said the CDC will send them to legitimate researchers who agree to the restrictions.


Funny you managed to not mention any of these little tidbits.

Once again you have taken a straight news piece and made it into another anti-US rant.... :shk:

Did you even read the article while you were cutting and pasting it to suit your Tabloidesqe title? :shk:


[edit on 10/21/05 by FredT]

[edit on 10/21/05 by FredT]



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 10:31 AM
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The second we share these samples, the whining liberals will start snivelling that we are giving away WMD to our enemies. Saddam Hussein ring any bells? So how do you liberals want it? Do want these things controlled and monitored or should we just give away samples of one of the dealiest viruses in all of world history to anyone who asks for it??? JEEEEESSSSHHHHH!



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 11:25 AM
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What, are we the only country with samples of this particular strain of flu? And if so, why is that? Why is it that we spend alot of time, money and effort to protect our citizens from things like the bird flu, only to have the rest of the (ungrateful) world start whining about how we aren't protecting them?

Well, since this is a war on terrorism thread, I'll finish with this: if (some of you) countries want samples of flu virus that we were smart enough to obtain and store for future use, then you had better start cooperating with us in hunting down and locking up terrorists, and stop coddling and shielding them like you have been. Its a two-way street.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by Pyros
What, are we the only country with samples of this particular strain of flu? And if so, why is that? Why is it that we spend alot of time, money and effort to protect our citizens from things like the bird flu, only to have the rest of the (ungrateful) world start whining about how we aren't protecting them?

Well, since this is a war on terrorism thread, I'll finish with this: if (some of you) countries want samples of flu virus that we were smart enough to obtain and store for future use, then you had better start cooperating with us in hunting down and locking up terrorists, and stop coddling and shielding them like you have been. Its a two-way street.


Open your eyes, maybe you should start co-operating with the rest of the world.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 12:01 PM
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Look...what is that gliding through the trees?
The common sense monkey.

The United States, should share information on this virus to help the rest of the World to fight other illnesses and cases of "bird flu" which has came across to humans. If it can skip from birds to human beings than their is a case it can go through other animals and other Nation's.

Why is that a problem?

Well America doesn't produce all its own food, clothing, etc and so if these Nation's [especailly in Africa] get hit badly that could result in a problem for the rest of the World - including guess who...the United States of America.

And yes, Frosty, Native American's were all Stone Age, European's do not have computers and any other pointless etchnocentric comments you can spam the bored with are all correct. [Sarcasm off.]



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
Ah here we go :shk:
First, why is this submitted as a war on terrorism article???
While you cut and pasted the article around to suit your unique point of view



Thank goodness I'm not the only one who sees what a load of garbage this "article" is.

Boo on you soficrow. Your intentional distortion of the facts to create a panic that will drive these members to your other pseudo-scientific, snake-oil threads is vulgar and a disgrace to this forum. Your own link doesn’t even support your assertion. I think you've gone too far this time.

To anyone who actually cares to know about Select Agent, it simply means that certain labs that handle certain extremely hazardous materials are required to register with the CDC. The CDC trains and monitors the labs to ensure proper handling and storage of the materials.

This does not amount to hoarding. The assertion is ridiculous, unless you really believe that we should let ANYONE WHO WALKS IN OFF THE STREET have a big bottle of avian flu. Or , maybe we should start giving out vials of smallpox to anyone who calls looking for some?

Don’t be stupid. If an appropriate request comes from a well-maintained lab that has a legitimate reason for wanting a sample, it will be honored. Case closed.

Sofi, you should be ashamed of yourself for deliberately trying to mislead everyone here. Your creative chopping of the article did not go unnoticed, and should not be tolerated by this community. If you truly want to help, do it in a way that doesn’t require you to lie. If you were really correct, you wouldn’t have to lie, would you?

And by the by, if you want to dispute what I’ve just said (and what FredT has already said), be my guest. Just be thankful that my company’s contracts to perform the laboratory inspections for CDC’s Select Agent program are proprietary information, so I can’t quote from them for fear of being sacked. That’s right! My company performs these inspections (and trains labs to help them get better at handling these materials). In fact, I'd love to ask one of the many M.D.s on the project to respond to this nonsense.

But, I have a feeling they'll laugh and tell me they have more important things to do with their time. Like keeping idiot, wannabe physicians from getting their hands on H5N1.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 01:02 PM
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Hmmm.


Now I'm really starting to wonder exactly what the USA is trying to hide. Check this out: Behold the H5N1 Pale Horse


RE: Sharing info on the bird flu. This is a global problem, and requires a global solution. Even with everyone working together full-out it's likely not stoppable. And trust me - if bird flu hits China, it will level the USA in a matter of weeks.


FredT - this is filed as a war on terrorism article because it involves the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.

There is NO distortion of the facts in my article - just a different take on the facts. Thank you very much.

Also - please read the rules on "select agents." The rules clearly refer to US oversight.
.

[edit on 21-10-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by phixion

Originally posted by Pyros
What, are we the only country with samples of this particular strain of flu? And if so, why is that? Why is it that we spend alot of time, money and effort to protect our citizens from things like the bird flu, only to have the rest of the (ungrateful) world start whining about how we aren't protecting them?

Well, since this is a war on terrorism thread, I'll finish with this: if (some of you) countries want samples of flu virus that we were smart enough to obtain and store for future use, then you had better start cooperating with us in hunting down and locking up terrorists, and stop coddling and shielding them like you have been. Its a two-way street.


Open your eyes, maybe you should start co-operating with the rest of the world.


Open up your own eyes, he had a point. If the rest of the world wants the US to share everything they need to give a little back, like respect money and power of attorney. The rest of the world can screw themselves for not doing the research the US has done.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Also - please read the rules on "select agents." The rules clearly refer to US oversight.


DUH! Of course they do! The Select Agent rules are for the CDC, which is a US AGENCY, and other U.S. labs. That's like pointing out that the CIA has U.S. oversight. What else would you expect? Or, it's like pretending to be surprised that your boss has oversight of your job. In fact, it's much like pointing at the big, bright thing in the daytime and saying, "that's called the sun."

Again, I know about the Select Agent program, I know you are full of nonsense on this. I just can't believe the Mods would let you keep posting this crud on a regular basis. And, I can't believe you would continue to distort facts like this. It's a shame that you can put your investigative resources to better use.

Try to point out something less obvious



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 01:56 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
There is NO distortion of the facts in my article - just a different take on the facts. Thank you very much.


And here is another gigantic lie from you soficrow. Just admit that you tried to pull a fast one on the otherwise unsuspecting group of people here, and you got caught with your facts around your ankles.

People, please don't be fooled by this garbage.

You article title says the U.S. won't share the samples. That is not true. Your source clearly states that researchers simply have to register with CDC first.

You also state that

Originally posted by soficrow
Instead of helping Americans and protecting the nation, this action simply will muzzle US scientists, prevent the sharing of certain pertinent information with other nations' scientists, and obstruct international response to the coming bird flu epidemic


This is also a load of crap. All it restricts is lunatics and idiots from getting their hands on some of the most lethal substances on the planet. If you really believe any Tom, Dick, and Harry should have access to smallpox, H5N1, anthrax, botulism, Ebola, etc., then you are crazier than I suspected.

The final rule itself states:

The benefits of the final rule will be the decreased risk of accidental or intentional release of a select agent or toxin derived from the establishment of Federal standards for biosafety, security, training, and personnel surety.


You lied. You got busted. Move on.

[edit on 21-10-2005 by Hamburglar]



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 06:18 PM
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did any of you read fredt's post before going on with your reply?

and sofi saying we're not sharing when we are just requiring screening to those who want samples, is clearly distortion.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 06:33 PM
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Originally posted by namehere
and sofi saying we're not sharing when we are just requiring screening to those who want samples, is clearly distortion.


Amen, really please show me anywhere in the article Soficrow that you based your OP/ED piece here on that says the US is refusing to share???

Again I ask what exactly is the problem with requiring that researchers remain accountable for samples of a DEADLY virus be accountable for it?

Or would you rather the CDC have samples ready for stocking stuffers in time for Xmas?????



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 06:49 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
really please show me anywhere in the article Soficrow that you based your OP/ED piece here on that says the US is refusing to share???




It's a real news report - not a press release, nor an Op/Ed. An increasingly rare commodity. Which may be why you do not recognize it for what it is.

Definition of a substance as a "select agent" means that the substance will NOT be shared with other nations, and that distribution within the USA is severely restricted. ...Read the "select agent" regs - or just go back to the quotes I pulled above.


FredT and Co. - If you have intel that the US does intend to share their 1918 Bird Flu samples - please post your references.

I would be happy to be proved wrong.


.

[edit on 21-10-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 06:49 PM
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Soficrow, I second (or third, or whatever) the sentiments of others here who say you are deliberately misleading people. Further, I read the link you cited and commented on that thread. The leglislation proposed in that thread is, IMHO, good leglislation that should be adopted & made law.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 07:01 PM
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Originally posted by Frosty
So the Canadians want us and everyone else to share our information. I say let's do it. And while we are at it we will also do what the UN wants us to do and share the internet (because the Euros don't have computers).


What the hell? Europeans don't have computers? What kind of stupid crap is that? Please tell me you were just jesting.


I left 10% for their own needs since it is only the US that really pollutes and uses the cars and oil and everything....right?


Right.....

Someone woke up with a persecution complex this morning........



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 07:07 PM
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Yes I did read the select agent regs and fail to see anywhere wher eit precludes it going to overseas researchers. In addition:



The complete coding sequence for the 1918 pandemic influenza A H1N1 virus has been recently identified (Taubenberger et al. 2005, Nature, vol. 437, pp. 889-893). Scientists from the CDC together with collaborators at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, MD, and Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, USDA, GA, reconstructed the 1918 pandemic influenza virus by using reverse genetics to study the properties associated with its extraordinary virulence (Tumpey et al., Characterization of the Reconstructed 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic Virus, Science 2005 310: 77-80). With the publication of the complete coding sequence, it will be possible for other scientists with knowledge of reverse genetics technology to reconstruct the 1918 pandemic influenza virus at other institutions.
www.cdc.gov...


I read through the text of the PUBLIC HEALTH SECURITY AND BIOTERRORISM PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE ACT OF 2002 and find nothing that precludes the sharing of the data. And again I point out that the article you base your Op/ED on says nothing of the sort nor did you back up your misleading title



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 07:29 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
Yes I did read the select agent regs and fail to see anywhere wher eit precludes it going to overseas researchers.




The "select agent" regs are ALL about keeping US intel in the US, under lock and key. Again:


If you have Intel that the US intends to share samples and data - please post those references here.






In addition:



The complete coding sequence for the 1918 pandemic influenza A H1N1 virus has been recently identified (Taubenberger et al. 2005, Nature, vol. 437, pp. 889-893). Scientists from the CDC together with collaborators at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, MD, and Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, USDA, GA, reconstructed the 1918 pandemic influenza virus by using reverse genetics to study the properties associated with its extraordinary virulence (Tumpey et al., Characterization of the Reconstructed 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic Virus, Science 2005 310: 77-80). With the publication of the complete coding sequence, it will be possible for other scientists with knowledge of reverse genetics technology to reconstruct the 1918 pandemic influenza virus at other institutions.
www.cdc.gov...




Please confirm that the complete coding sequence has been published, with links.

It seems clear that the action reported above may have been taken to prevent publication of the relevant data. In any event, samples and data are two different things.





I read through the text of the PUBLIC HEALTH SECURITY AND BIOTERRORISM PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE ACT OF 2002 and find nothing that precludes the sharing of the data.




You need to read the "select agent" regs too - and please, consider the fact that this legislation was created to keep US technology and intel away from other nations.





And again I point out that the article you base your Op/ED on says nothing of the sort nor did you back up your misleading title


You write pro-Bush Op/Eds and regurgitate government press releases, and pretend it's news. I just write news.

The news is - the USA is blocking access to critical data (although granted it's an old story) - and obstructing international efforts to respond to the bird flu epidemic - also an old story, but with new details.






.





[edit on 21-10-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 07:50 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Please confirm that the complete coding sequence has been published, with links.


:shk: the quoted material never said it had been completed. Do you actually read the stuff before you pop off with you patented knee jerk responses?????

So I quote the relevent part again: Sheesh I even bolded it


With the publication of the complete coding sequence, it will be possible for other scientists with knowledge of reverse genetics technology to reconstruct the 1918 pandemic influenza virus at other institutions.




You need to read the "select agent" regs too - and please, consider the fact that this legislation was created to keep US technology aware from other nations.


Please show me your reference that you seems to so worked up about?

Here is another one that is refenced right from the CDC's special agents site:
This is getting old




You write pro-Bush Op/Eds and regurgitate government press releases. I write news.


Thats mighty nice glass house you live in care for a rock??

Hardly: Lets look at your recent "News Efforts"

WAR: US Won't Share Important Flu Samples
Misleading title, clearly an OP/ED and your reference article does not even support your outlandish claims

OP/ED: Flu Researchers Slam US for Hoarding Data
Ditto

And don't get me started about the prion bit thrown into almost everything :shk:

I could go on for hours. Please show me examples of my OP/ED Bush pieces. At least when I OP/ED its clearly an OP/ED and I do not abuse my expert status to push it through labeled as "news"




I write news


Well NOT in this article. Misleading title, story that does not match your title at all, cut and pasting of the intial story to try to suit your agenda. Nuff said.

So please post the links and relevant CDC/NIH/OSHA/FBI/DHS regs that say samples will not be shared?









.




[edit on 10/21/05 by FredT]





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