The rapidly increasing power and rapidly decreasing cost of advanced biotechnology has made lab-generated pandemics a threat to the survival of the human species. Remarkably, despite the major risks to the public, dangerous “gain-of-function” research that enhances potential pandemic pathogens (ePPP 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 a non-governmental organization that advocates for reducing numbers of high-level biocontainment laboratories and for strengthening biosafety, biosecurity, and biorisk management for research on pathogens. We seek comprehensive, legally-binding, national- and international-level oversight to foresee, regulate, and ultimately minimize the risks to the public of research with potentially dangerous pathogens. We are convinced that public health and safety require that all such research be subject to independent external controls, rather than be trusted to the oversight of the experimenters themselves.