The Centers for Disease Control had even more security lapses when handling anthrax bacteria than it had previously admitted, according to a congressional report released Monday.
Federal CDC workers kept dangerous anthrax bacteria in unlocked refrigerators, transferred it in Ziploc bags that didn’t meet safety requirements and even let anthrax containers go missing, according to a federal inspection.
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service conducted an investigation of the CDC’s procedures after the federal agency admitted recently that officials at the Atlanta campus mishandled live anthrax. Researchers at a high-security bioterror lab studying live anthrax sent what they believed to be inactivated bacteria to a low-security lab with fewer safety protections, potentially exposing over 80 scientists and lab workers to the bacteria.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee revealed the findings from the APHIS investigation on Monday. The committee will question CDC director Thomas Frieden about the multiple safety failures on Wednesday.