A British biological researcher has suggested that the world’s largest bioweapons program is an expensive mistake, and that “a real strategy” should be developed to reduce the number of deadly weapons.
Dr Adam Goodall, a lecturer at Imperial College London’s Institute for Biological and Chemical Sciences, made the comments on the BBC’s Sunday Politics.
Speaking on Monday, he said the UK’s new National Bio-Security Strategy (NBSS) is not enough to stop the spread of bioweapon-related diseases.
“There are two problems with the NBSS: it’s very much a first step, it’s not really a strategy, and it’s too ambitious,” he said.
“We need to be able to look at what are the risks to the people in the UK and how can we reduce those risks to them and not increase the risk to others.”
He said the NBRs “biggest weakness” was its lack of a “clear definition” of biowarfare.
“It doesn’t say who is a bioware agent, it doesn’t define how to fight them.
It doesn’t give us a clear answer to the question: what are these threats, how are they happening, and what can we do to prevent them?”
Goodall also said it was important to consider “who the target is”.
“We’re not talking about people being shot down in the street or people being killed by chemical weapons.
It’s not like that,” he told the BBC.”
The big threat is when a country is caught with a large amount of biological weapons that can kill millions of people.
And if we’re not able to control that, it can become the world in which it becomes more likely that we will have another pandemic.”
What are the steps that we can take to reduce that risk?””
How do we protect them from that risk?
What are the steps that we can take to reduce that risk?”
Goods was responding to a question about the UK government’s plans to expand the UK National Bioweapon Response Programme, which is currently only operational in the north of England and the north-east of Scotland.
The NBSs goal is to contain the spread and stop the creation of new biowars.
But Goodall warned the programme was “not really a response to a specific threat” and that its “main purpose is to protect the population in the homeland and the country”.
He said it would be a “disaster” if it failed to do that.
“If it’s really a first response, if you can’t say what the threats are, what are your options, what do you do to protect them?
It’s a big mistake.”UK Prime Minister David Cameron has previously defended the Nbss as a way of “keeping us safe” from future bioweassist threats.”
You’re saying that we don’t have to do anything?
We can’t have biowarmers?
We don’t need to put them into storage?” he asked during an interview with the BBC last year.”
No, but they’re not going to come back and it is a real risk to them.”
He has since been criticised by scientists who believe the government has failed to properly assess the threat of bioterrorism and that it has failed “to keep us safe”.
Goodall, who has also published research on infectious diseases and nuclear weapons, said he believed the UK needed to adopt a “more nuanced” approach to the threat from biotruthives, which include bio weapons.
“I think there is an opportunity to look more closely at what the risks are, to say: what is this threat?
Are we taking it seriously?” he said on Monday.”
And the best way to do this is to start with an understanding of what is the risk, how do we prevent it?
What can we control?
And then to think about how we can reduce that.”
The NBRS is expected to be rolled out later this year and aims to target areas with the highest levels of bio-contamination and contamination of soil and water, where people live.
The programme has also been criticised for its lacklustre enforcement and the risk of people being arrested and charged for their own behaviour.
Goodall said it should be possible for people to “voluntarily” leave their home and return to the UK.
“That’s not a bad thing.
That’s a way for people who are not wanted to be here to stay, for people that have no reason to be in the United Kingdom, but are not really here, for those who are actually in danger,” he added.”
But you have to be very careful about that.
There are people that would do that.”