Next, I went to the actual Public Law and followed the references concerning import & export of "special agents" as far as I could and found that
the agents can be exported, but the red tape to do so is horrendous and entails a lot of time, unless the HHS Secretary, or the CDC Director, or
several other people on a very short list grants an exception.
Your reference brings the two key issues into focus:
1. The "select agent" designation under the Bioterrorism Act effectively mandates that any determinations regarding the use of such agents are
, not scientific or medical. In fact, the 2002 Bioterrorism Act was created for the purposes of: 1) Preventing US scientists from
collaborating and sharing their data with colleagues in other nations; 2) Controlling access to scientific data within the USA; and 3) Preventing US
scientists from sharing scientific data, general results, and any resulting concerns with the American public. Supposedly to protect Americans from
But in practise, the reality is panning out quite differently:
"...an April 2004 General Accounting Office report (PDF)
...said some departments have appointed
members of industry and stakeholder groups, persons who are exempt from conflict-of-interest rules. Industry leaders may therefore theoretically be
profiting from their own advice."
U.S. Charged With Silencing Scientists
Fighting for integrity: Delegates at a CSPI meeting dismayed at corporate influence, politicization
"Science is being altered to suit (political and economic) objectives."
2. Political determinations require time for negotiation - but the crisis is already upon us. There is no time for negotiation or other political
games - if
the goal is to save the world from a devastating pandemic. In fact, speed
is of the essence now: "Speed is life," said a
Health and Human Services Department official.
Nations meet to prepare bird flu response
Everyone at the international meeting, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, has agreed in principle to share the information, quickly, that could
allow health experts to contain the virus if it makes the jump to easily infect people. ...Now, said officials, it is critical to make sure they
actually do so.
"Speed is life," said a Health and Human Services Department official, who asked not to be named. ..."With proper coordination, we might be
able to intervene in time."
Also see: Bird flu needs fast, transparent response
(The CDC) oversees these activities and registers all laboratories and other entities in the United States that possess, use, or transfer a HHS or
"overlap" select agent or toxin. ...Why you ask? Because that agency only controls labs and entities that possess use and transfer within the U.S.
...The law that this oversight comes from(42 C.F.R. part 73) gives control of exportation to the Dept of Commerce. ...So basically HHS controls what
goes on with labs within the U.S., they do not control export.
While the Dept of Commerce may control the physical aspects of export, I can assure you absolutely that the decision-making process to determine
samples might be shared with whom
is not primarily a "transportation" issue.
...That decision-making process is political
and economic, not scientific or medical. [See above.]
It appears all you need is a export license...
Ahh. No. It's more complicated than that.
that covers that category of exports.
Hmmm. Meaning scientific and medical knowledge is a trade commodity
? I think you may have something there. ...Let me backtrack a bit.
...I'm not exactly seeing a conspiracy in this, just a lot of wing flapping.
Originally, I did not see a conspiracy either. My concern was that this administration's paranoia about bioterrorism was misplaced - and that
designating the 1918 bird flu samples as a "select agent" would wrongly and dangerously obstruct international collaboration, cooperation, and
ability to deal with the bird flu crisis.
Which is why I filed my article in the "War on Terrorism" category. But, due to the wing flapping of our local agitators, the ATS administration
moved this article/thread to "Conspiracy Related News Topics" without consulting me
However, given the wing flapping agitators' continued efforts to derail this thread, and prevent legitimate discourse that might lead to any clear
understanding of the issues - I now am beginning to suspect a conspiracy, and to consider the possibility that once again, I have hit the nail too
close to the head.
Originally posted by soficrow
The fact that my spotlighting such information is considered suspect and "controversial" is itself sad commentary on the state of our nation.
that here is what we call a argumentum ad misercordiam or an "Appeal to Pity"
No FredT. It's an observation - and an appeal for awareness, education, and a call to "Deny Ignorance."
The truly sad thing here is this bit of Yellow Journalism,
Interesting that as a Moderator you consider yourself to be above ATS rules against name-calling and spurious, unsubstantiated personal attacks.
Your initial title that the US is not sharing information was bogus. ...Nor have you proven it in any way shape or form.
I have proved that the CDC does not share critical scientific and medical information - you just choose to ignore the evidence, and the international
You all but admitted you placed the story AND the created the title to generate controversy.
I certainly did NOT admit any such thing, nor did I imply it.
You cut and pasted an article that dealt ONLY with the CDC's classification of the DANGEROUS virus (And the increased security such a classification
carried) and tried to SPIN it as your version. In poker parlace here your bluff has been called.
The "select agent" designation is the key - and the terms of the 2002 Bioterrorism Act make the issue "political," as opposed to scientific or
medical. No bluff. No misrepresentation.
The ONLY two stories I have seen here or out in the press about the US not sharing information have been from YOU!
You need to get past the White House Press Releases and Internal Memos written for low level employees. There's plenty out there: "Web Results 1 -
10 of about 527,000 for +US OR USA OR "United States" +flu +hoarding OR blocking +data OR information OR samples." For example:
Citizens for Legitimate Government: Flu 'Oddities'; CDC locks up flu data
Amid growing concerns that avian influenza will develop into a deadly pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is under fire by some
in the scientific community for hoarding data crucial for vaccine development. The allegations come as CDC has issued new and controversial rules on
what data, documents and other information it will - and will not - share with the public. Open government advocates are critical of the CDC's
"Information Security" manual, the 34-page document that gives officials 19 categories to shield data from public scrutiny without obtaining a
Flu researchers slam US agency for hoarding data
US National Institutes of Health PubMed
Flu researchers slam US agency for hoarding data.
CDC slammed for hoarding data; Better sharing of information
would help vaccine design.
CDC locks up flu data; Critics call policy
PDF. Nature article: Flu researchers slam US agency for hoarding data
"Scientists who are researching influenza say their work is being hindered by the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is withholding data on most of the flu strains that scientists sequence."
Flu researchers slam US for hoarding data
Dr. Bob Martin:
Flu researchers slam US for hoarding data
Also of interest:
More Anti-Virals in the Hands of the
Assessing the Bird Flu Crisis
No honest investigation into accidental global release of Spanish Flu virus
In one Louisiana parish, flexibility trumps bureaucracy
Again, please supply a list of countries that have been denied access to the virus and/or the information that the CDC has generated from it.
That question has been addressed, and re-addressed, ad nauseum. Please stay on topic, and quit trying to derail this thread.
Is it all about money
? Holding Intellectual Property Rights? Getting there first? Cornering the market?
Most certainly, scientists and politicians/corporations are polarized - responsible scientists say scientific information should be Open Access (Open
Source), and that sharing research is critical - on the other hand, the business community wants research results to remain privately owned, and
H5N1 Bird flu has been in the USA since 2001
First Ever Large Scale Sequencing of Influenza Genome.
...senior author Steven Salzberg, professor and director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Maryland, and
his co-authors report the first-ever large-scale sequencing of 209 complete genomes of influenza A, the ever-changing virus that makes humans sick
with the “flu.”
One unusual aspect of the project was that the authors released all of the sequence data immediately. A September 22 article in Nature criticized the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for “hoarding” influenza data, not making it generally available to researchers.
“All of the sequences described in the NIAID project are rapidly being deposited in public sequence databases,” Salzberg said. “We realize
there is a chance that other scientists could ‘scoop’ us on our own data, but this data is too valuable for anyone to sit on."
VIRA 38 Fraction (v38 AMF-1) Inhibits Bird
Flu Virus (H5N1) Infections by Blocking Viral Attachment
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- PRB Pharmaceuticals (www.prbpharmaceuticals.com...) and Lee's Pharmaceuticals (www.leespharm.com...)
announced today the discovery that v38 AMF-1 inhibits H5N1 infection by blocking the ability of the virus to attach to cells. Three fractions of v38
AMF-1 were tested against H5N1, the virus
responsible for causing avian influenza (bird flu), and all showed excellent potency and selectivity at inhibiting H5N1 uptake and viral
The results come from the U.S. arm of an ongoing, multi-national, anti-viral project jointly sponsored by PRB Pharmaceuticals and Lee's
, at least - and
while that strain has low pathogenicity, "bird flus that appear at first to be low pathogenic can evolve suddenly into a more deadly strain."
Remember, Reuters reports:
"Scientists who are researching influenza say their work is being
hindered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is withholding data on most of the flu strains that scientists
So given that the CDC does not share critical data, or release information to the public - we do not know what's happening to H5N1 here in
If there is a conspiracy, this is it: The CDC is hoarding critical scientific information necessary for developing bird flu vaccines, NOT to
protect Americans from bioterrorist threats, but in order to facilitate profiteering
If so, this administration's primary objective is NOT to stop the pandemic and save American or any other lives, but rather, to allow the pandemic to
materialize unhindered, take its course, and profit from the death, disaster, and devastation.
So is that defensible? Given that the USA is all about business, and profit? Or is it an unconscionable crime against humanity?