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Real Biosecurity for the Heartland

What is the difference between biological defense research and biological weapons research?

Posted by nonbafks on August 13, 2008

There is really no difference because the agents involved are the same as are the methods used to study them.  In  both cases the germs are easily disseminated or spread person to person, are highly lethal to animls and/or humans, cause serious public health effects, and are capable of causing great panic and social disruption.  This quandry between bio-defense and bio-weapons is referred to as the “dual use dilemma” and was the topic of a book/report in October 2004, Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism, authored by the Committee on Research Standards and Practices to Prevent the Destructive Application of Biotechnology.

Reference, “A GNAT Whitepaper:  The  National Bio Agro Defense Facility’s ‘Dual Use’ Research; a Threat to our Nation’s Security” by Judy Winters.

Key words:  dual purpose, biological defense, biological weapons.


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