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News & Trends - Biotechnology

The crackdown on biotech company related to COVID-19 pandemic

Health Industry Hub | May 30, 2024 |

Biotech News: In response to mounting concerns over the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Government has suspended funding from the biotech company, EcoHealth Alliance.

EcoHealth Alliance finds itself under scrutiny for its involvement in research conducted in Wuhan, China, involving genetically engineered bat viruses designed to be more harmful to humans. Congressional inquiries, alongside investigations by the FBI and CIA, have linked the organisation to these experiments, raising alarming questions about laboratory safety and the potential for unintended consequences.

The possibility that one of these engineered viruses escaped from a poorly secured facility, leading to the global Covid-19 pandemic, underscores the grave risks associated with certain avenues of contemporary scientific research. The pandemic, which infected 775 million people and claimed the lives of at least 7 million, stands as one of the most significant disasters in modern history.

Efforts to uncover the origins of Covid-19 were hampered by apparent attempts at concealment by a select group of virologists, hindering both governmental investigations and public understanding. The veil of secrecy surrounding the outbreak was compounded by reluctance from both US and Chinese authorities to fully engage in inquiries, fueled by concerns of potential culpability.

However, following a thorough Congressional probe, the US Government has begun to acknowledge the mounting evidence, taking action to halt further public research funding for the implicated company, albeit temporarily.

Professor Colin Butler of Biosafety Now! in Australia underscores the pressing need for enhanced oversight and public awareness regarding ‘gain-of-function’ research, which can amplify the risks of pandemic pathogens.

He notes that this type of research “is subject to almost no national or international oversight. Moreover, to date, the public largely has been unaware of, and excluded from, discussion of this threat.”

Biosafety Now! is calling for legally-binding, national- and international oversight to foresee, regulate and minimise the risks.

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