Who get’s to decide this and who is the NSABB and who do they report to?
CHICAGO, Jan 31 (Reuters) – A potentially deadlier form of the bird flu virus poses one of the gravest known threats to humans and justifies an unprecedented call to censor the research that produced it, a top U.S. biosecurity official said on Tuesday.
The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) set off a furious debate in the scientific and public health communities in December when it asked the journals Nature and Science to censor two studies on new strains of the H5N1 virus that may make it more easily transmissable in people.
“The potential of this pathogen, in theory, exceeds anything else I can imagine,” Paul Keim, acting chair of the NSABB, told Reuters in an e-mail.
Keim explained his personal decision to support censorship in this case in a commentary published on Tuesday in mBio, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The panel also published an explanatory piece in Nature and Science.
The panel cited fears that mutant versions of the H5N1 virus created by scientists at Erasmus Medical College in the Netherlands and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, could accidentally escape the lab or be used as a devastating form of bioterrorism.