Discussion Of NSABB Recommendation To Publish Controversial Bird Flu Studies To Continue In London Meeting

The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity’s (NSABB) “reversal on publishing two controversial H5N1 studies is poised to shift discussions on the topic that continue in London this week, as more participants in the debate weigh in following the March 30 announcement,” CIDRAP News reports (Schnirring, 4/2). But Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University, who is the acting chair of the panel, stressed on Monday that the “recommendation that two controversial papers on bird flu be published in full is not a reversal of the stand it took last year out of concerns over terrorism,” Reuters writes. “‘We had new information, confidential information, about benefits of this research, and we also had confidential information about the risks involved,'” Keim said, according to the news service (Kelland/Begley, 4/2).

“The 2-day Royal Society discussion will be webcast live, and participants will include” researchers Ron Fouchier and Yoshihiro Kawaoka, “a host of internationally recognized H5N1 researchers, a representative from the NSABB, biosecurity experts, dual-use research experts, editors from Nature and Science, along with participants from public policy, vaccine research, funding, and journalism fields,” CIDRAP notes (4/2).