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2022-8-8 6:15:28

China:Labs warned to follow disease research rules
submited by kickingbird at Jun, 17, 2005 15:41 PM from Chinadaily

The Ministry of Agriculture has warned labs nationwide not to experiment on dangerous pathogenic microbes without approval.

An urgent notice issued by the ministry yesterday said experiments on such microbes should only be carried out under close supervision from epidemic prevention authorities.

But officials were keen to stress the notice did not mean there was any imminent danger to the public.

"There has not been an outbreak of any serious disease, we just want to stress biosafety," a veterinary official told China Daily.

According to the official, some research organizations and universities have been experimenting on dangerous pathogenic microbes without permission.

"It´s dangerous because some of the labs don´t have the proper safety equipment or facilities," he said.

The urgent notice, backed by several cabinet departments, demands labs adhere to cabinet regulations on biological lab management issued last year.

The new regulations were formulated after two people were infected with the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus at a lab run by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Under the new regulations China grades its biological labs in four levels.

Labs in the first and second grades are prohibited from conducting experiments on contagious pathogenic microbes that can cause severe diseases in humans or animals. Labs in the third and fourth grades can do experiments on such microbes only with the specific permission of health and veterinary authorities.

Yesterday´s notice requires biological labs abide by biosafety regulations and warns that the slightest negligence will not be allowed.

According to the rules set out last year, both the head of the institution that owns a lab and the operational head of the lab will be held accountable for any breeches of safety regulations.

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