HRES 514 IH
107th CONGRESS 2d Session H. RES. 514 Expressing serious concern regarding the publication of instructions on how to create a synthetic human polio virus, and for other purposes. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
JULY 26, 2002
Mr. WELDON of Florida (for himself, Mr. STUPAK, Mr. TAYLOR of Mississippi, Mr. PENCE, Mr. PITTS, Mr. GUTKNECHT, Mr. KERNS, and Mr. JONES of North Carolina) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Science and Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
RESOLUTION Expressing serious concern regarding the publication of instructions on how to create a synthetic human polio virus, and for other purposes.
Whereas the American Association for the Advancement of Science published, in its publication entitled `Science Express', results of its research on development of a sythetic human polio virus;
Whereas the researchers involved chose to publish their findings with the awareness that they were publishing a blueprint for creating a polio virus and other harmful pathogens that could be released on the population of the United States;
Whereas the publication of methods for generating the polio virus in effect provides guidelines for making similar viruses and harmful agents of bioterrorism;
Whereas the principle that the article demonstrated could have been demonstrated by using a harmless bacterial virus;
Whereas some scientists have condemned the research and publication of methods for generating the synthetic human polio virus as `irresponsible';
Whereas the scientific community is in the process of discussing guidelines to follow when publishing information that may be useful to terrorists; and
Whereas many modern terrorists are sophisticated and able to engage in advanced research for bioterrorism: Now, therefore, be it
(1) the Congress expresses serious concern regarding the decision by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the editors of `Science Express' to publish a blueprint that could conceivably enable terrorists to inexpensively create human pathogens for release on the people of the United States;
(2) the Congress calls upon the publishers and editors of scientific publications to establish ethical standards to ensure that published material does not aid terrorists in the development of agents of bioterrorism that may be used against the people of the United States;
(3) the scientific community should develop ethical standards and exercise restraint to ensure that information that may be used by terrorists is not made widely available; and
(4) the executive branch should examine all policies, including national security directives, relevant to the classification or publication of federally funded research to ensure that, although the free exchange of information is encouraged, information that could be useful in the development of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons is not made accessible to terrorists or countries of proliferation concern.