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Responsible Research with Biological Select Agents and Toxins
Consideration of these principles led the committee to nine recommendations that it believes are essential for keeping BSAT research secure from both internal and external threats.
Recommendation 1 assigns responsibility for fostering a culture of trust and responsibility to a partnership of laboratory leaders and the Select Agent Program:
RECOMMENDATION 1: Laboratory leadership and the Select AgentProgram should encourage and support the implementation of programsand practices aimed at fostering a culture of trust and responsibility withinBSAT entities. These programs and practices should be designed to minimize potential security and safety risks by identifying and respondingto potential personnel issues. These programs should have a number ofcommon elements, tailored to reflect the diversity of facilities conductingBSAT research:
Consideration should be given to including discussion of personnelmonitoring during (1) the initial training required for all personnel prior to gaining access to BSAT materials and annual refresherupdates and (2) safety inspections to obtain a more complete assessment of the laboratory’s ability to provide a safe and secure researchenvironment.
More broadly, personnel with access to select agents and toxinsshould receive training in scientific ethics and dual-use research.Training should be designed to foster community responsibility andraise awareness of all personnel of available institutional support andmedical resources.
Federal agencies overseeing and sponsoring BSAT research and professional societies should provide educational and training resourcesto accomplish these goals.
Recommendation 2 engages the research community in oversight of the Select Agent Program through formation of an advisory committee:
RECOMMENDATION 2: To provide continued engagement of stakeholders in oversight of the Select Agent Program, a Biological SelectAgents and Toxins Advisory Committee (BSATAC) should be established.The members, who should be drawn from academic/research institutionsand the private sector, should include microbiologists and other infec-