WASHINGTON – Army Secretary John McHugh is suspending operations at four Defense Department laboratories that handle biological toxins, as the military scrambles to correct problems that led to the accidental shipment of live anthrax to dozens of labs around the country and the world.
McHugh is also directing a broad safety review at nine department labs involved in the production, shipment or handling of biological toxins. He ordered a report within the next 10 days.
His order expands the initial moratorium announced in July, which suspended activities with anthrax. He is ordering the labs to review their training on safety procedures, maintenance on equipment, record-keeping, and standard practices for the handling of the toxins.
Samples of live anthrax from the Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah were shipped to 194 labs.