Records Reveal CDC Sent Germ Strains to Iraq in 1980s
Washington Times; A11
Government records show that, during the 1980s, Iraq requested from the United States samples of several deadly germ strains for the purposes of legitimate medical research. According to the records, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Type Culture Collection, a biological sample company, sent strains of anthrax, the bacteria that make botulinum toxin, and the germs that cause gas gangrene. The samples were approved under a program administered by the Commerce Department at a time when the United States supported Iraq's war against Iran. Several of the Iraqi sites that received the samples were declared part of Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program by U.N. weapons inspectors in the early 1990s, and Iraq later told the United Nations that it had made bioweapons out of the germs. When questioned, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, and former Middle East envoy under the Reagan administration, denied any knowledge of such a transaction and later told Sen Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) that he would have his department and other federal agencies look into the matter.