The Congressional Research Service has issued a new report that advocates to expand oversight of biodefense research facilities, "Oversight of High-Containment Biological Laboratories: Issues for Congress," March 5, 2009. A copy of the new report was obtained by Secrecy News.
"Policymakers have become increasingly interested in the oversight of these facilities following reports of accidents, regulatory noncompliance, and community resistance. The increase in high containment laboratory capacity has raised new policy questions and emphasized existing ones. How much laboratory capacity is enough? What is the necessary federal investment? Should laboratories be consolidated or dispersed? What plans exist to coordinate multiple agency efforts to expand high-containment laboratory capacity? Does increasing laboratory capacity increase the risk of accidents and the opportunity for purposeful misuse? What is an acceptable balance between the benefits these laboratories provide and the risks they pose?"
Also, we suggest you download "Germs, Viruses, and Secrets: The Silent Proliferation of Bio-Laboratories in the United States"), House Committee on Energy and Commerce, October 4, 2007 (published December 2008).