It's been a bad Friday for both WHO and the CDC. Via USA Today: Safety experts slam lax safety practices at CDC labs. Excerpt:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently had lab mishaps involving some of the world's most dangerous pathogens, does "inadequate" training, lacks leadership commitment toward safety and has a significant percentage of staff who are afraid to report accidents, according to the agency's own safety advisers.
"We are very concerned that the CDC is on the way to losing credibility," wrote the group of external biosafety experts, appointed by the agency as advisers in the wake of high-profile accidents with anthrax and bird flu last year.
"The CDC must not see itself as 'special'. The internal controls and rules that the rest of the world works under also apply to CDC."
The CDC quietly posted the experts' report on its website this week. It is dated Jan. 13 – six months after CDC Director Tom Frieden testified before Congress that he'd taken significant steps to address safety issues. The Atlanta-based agency's high-security labs do wide-ranging public health experiments, including work with the Ebola virus to help combat the ongoing outbreaks in Africa, studies of deadly strains of influenza to help make better vaccines and examinations of anthrax to create better detection methods for bioterror agents.
"CDC concurs with these recommendations, has made progress towards implementing them, and will soon report on that progress," according to text posted with the report on the webpage.