Security at biological research facilities that work with biological select agents and toxins could be strengthened under a bill passed by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on 4 November 2009 (S 1649). The legislation would create a tiered security plan, with higher security measures for facilities conducting research on biological agents and toxins with a significant potential to be used effectively in a biological attack. Such a system was recommended in a report released by the National Academy of Sciences in September, which found fault with current “one-size-fits all” security measures for restricted agents. That report also recommended reforming the personnel screening process at these facilities and implementing monitoring and management programs to catch and deter potentially dangerous behavior by staff.
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