CDC Replaces Top Lab Regulator After Safety Review Of Bioterror Labs

CDC Replaces Top Lab Regulator
On Dec. 8, 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the replacement of its top lab regulator following an internal review of how it regulates safety and security at bioterror labs. File photo by David Tulis/ UPI

ATLANTA, Dec. 8 (UPI) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention replaced its top lab regulator following an internal review over how it regulates safety at bioterror labs.

The CDC released a statement Tuesday announcing Robbin Weyant, director of the agency’s Division of Select Agents and Toxins, was re-assigned on Nov. 9, though it did not say why.

Weyant is now working “as a senior adviser with our newly formed Office of the Associate Director for Laboratory Science and Safety to add his extensive expertise in lab safety and security to our ongoing improvement efforts,” USA Today quotedthe statement as saying.

Dad Sosin, formerly deputy director of the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, was named as Weyant’s replacement.

The re-assignment occurred 18 days after the CDC completed a 90-day internal investigation into its national lab oversight program. Coverage by USA Today into whether inspectors allowed bioterror labs to continue running experiments after failing to meet certain safety and security requirements prompted the internal review— as well as Congressional probes into the CDC’s effectiveness.

USA Today quoted a Tuesday statement by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., chairman of the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, as saying they were taking a closer look at the CDC’s actions and were “disappointed the agency did not consult with the Committee prior to its announcement.”

“Strong and effective management of the select agent program is our top priority, and we want to know whether this signals deeper problems that CDC has not yet disclosed,” the statement read.


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