Washington -- Officials at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Md. have temporarily suspended all biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) and biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) operations. USAMRIID conducts research into defensive countermeasures against biological warfare and is the only Department of Defense laboratory equipped to conduct research with the world's most lethal biological agents.
After conducting on-site inspections in June, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) inspectors determined that USAMRIID labs failed to meet biosafety standards In July, the CDC issued a "cease and desist" order that suspended USAMRIID'S registration with the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP). Without FASP certification, labs are not allowed to possess or handle disease-causing select agents nor conduct toxins research.