China’s agriculture ministry requires stricter supervision over laboratory biosafety

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/21 15:10:57

China sets up the National Biosafety Laborotary in Wuhan, the highest level of virus lab, which was put into operation in January 2018. Photo: website of the National Biosafety Laboratory

China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs called for the continued strengthening of supervision for laboratory biosafety management on Monday to ensure safety of the production of animal husbandry, animal-derived food and public health, according to a report from the ministry on Monday, after China's veterinary laboratories responded successfully to the African swine fever epidemic in 2018. 

The requirement was put forward during a workshop on biosafety management of African swine fever and other highly pathogenic microorganisms in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, where the epidemic started in November 2018. 

The statement said there are still shortcomings in laboratory construction and biosafety supervision work in China, despite the fact that veterinary laboratories contributed greatly to helping control the epidemic two years ago. 

The ministry called for stricter supervision for laboratory biosafety to prevent and defuse biosafety risks and step up laboratory management system building to enhance biosafety governance capacity as a goal for the next stage. 

It also required innovation of laboratory management methods and for resources on different platforms to be fully used to provide scientific and technological support for epidemic prevention and control. 

More than 50 people from the animal husbandry department and the national veterinary laboratory at all levels across the country took part in the discussion on Thursday. 

China has stepped up the supervision and management of laboratory biosafety since the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak. 

In July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in China issued a guideline requiring authorities to strengthen supervision and inspection work for novel coronavirus experiment activities in laboratories.


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