The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention is now widely circumvented and ignored – to the world’s peril
by Gary Samore July 20, 2021
„Scientists are making dramatic progress with techniques for “gene splicing” – modifying the genetic makeup of organisms.
This work includes bioengineering pathogens for medical research, techniques that also can be used to create deadly biological weapons.
It’s an overlap that’s helped fuel speculation that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was bioengineered at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and that it subsequently “escaped” through a lab accident to produce the Covid-19 pandemic.
The world already has a legal foundation to prevent gene splicing for warfare: the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. Unfortunately, nations have been unable to agree on how to strengthen the treaty. Some countries have also pursued bioweapons research and stockpiling in violation of it.
As a member of President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council from 1996 to 2001, I had a firsthand view of the failure to strengthen the convention. From 2009 to 2013, as President Barack Obama’s White House coordinator for weapons of mass destruction, I led a team that grappled with the challenges of regulating potentially dangerous biological research in the absence of strong international rules and regulations.“ (…)