U.S. Biotoxin Order a ‘Major Step Forward’

An Executive Order issued last week by President Barack Obama changes the way Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the U.S. are secured. It addresses the threat of a biological attack, one of the most significant challenges of homeland security.

In an article on the HS Today website, Phil Leggiere says the order, titled Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States, calls for tiering and potential reduction of the Select Agent list “based upon the risk posed by the pathogen or toxin in enabling a mass casualty incident through deliberate misuse.” He calls the issuance of this order a major step forward by President Obama.

“For those pathogens and toxins in the highest risk tier,” Leggiere writes, “HHS and USDA will evaluate options for the targeted application of physical security and personnel reliability measures in a manner commensurate to risk.”

Under the order, federal government must develop security enhancements to keep biological agents and toxins out of terrorists’ hands.

To read the article, click here: