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Wenstrup, Ruiz Request Analysis of International Biosafety and Biosecurity Standards

Washington, D.C. - Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Ranking Member Raul Ruiz (D-Ca.) have requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct an analysis of the international biosafety and biosecurity standards implemented by G20 countries. In a letter to the GAO today, the Chairman and Ranking Member asked Comptroller General Gene Dodaro to provide a comprehensive report comparing the current biosafety and biosecurity standards employed by G20 countries with existing United States policies.

In an October hearing, Select Subcommittee members underscored the need for improved oversight of high-risk laboratories in the United States and abroad. Members also heard concerning testimony from expert witnesses who detailed gaps in current biosafety and biosecurity standards. As the Select Subcommittee continues to evaluate the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring judicious, modernized biosafety and biosecurity practices are implemented across the world may help prevent a future health crisis.

“As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, biosafety and biosecurity issues have the potential to affect the international community. While the United States evaluates its own biosafety and biosecurity standards, precautions taken by other nations remain highly relevant to the Select Subcommittee’s work. To that end, the Select Subcommittee requests a comprehensive report of the G20 member nations' biosafety and biosecurity standards,” wrote Chairman Wenstrup and Ranking Member Ruiz.

Read the full letter to GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro here.