UPDATE 1-CDC anthrax scare raises worries in U.S. Congress about lab safety

So what will Congress do about Lab Safety now? How about a start by firing the clown responsible?

A microscopic picture of spores and vegetative cells of Bacillus anthracis which causes the disease anthrax is pictured in this undated file photograph. REUTERS/Files

By David Morgan
21 June 2014

A growing anthrax scare at three government laboratories is drawing scrutiny from Congress about whether the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the appropriate safety procedures in place to protect federal employees from contamination.

Oversight committees in both the Senate and the House of Representatives are weighing whether the potential exposure of 84 people to one of the deadliest strains of anthrax at CDC facilities in Atlanta could merit formal congressional hearings, aides said.

One of the panels, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is "closely monitoring" the situation and early next week "will make a formal request to CDC Director Tom Frieden for additional follow-up information," said Allison Preiss, a spokeswoman for Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, the panel's chairman.

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