of Science and Technology Policy
Against Use of Hand-held Assays to Detect Bacillus Anthracis
U.S. Department of Defense
23 July 2002
- White Paper
This white paper is in response to the July 19, 2002 memorandum from the Executive Office of the President Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for Federal Mail Managers and First Responders to Federal Mail Centers. The OSTP memorandum discusses the use of commercially available detection and identification technologies for use in determining if unknown substances resembling Bacillus anthracis powder do in fact contain this agent. It advises that actions taken for the procurement of such commercial technologies should cease. The memorandum states that the only valid method for the detection and identification of Bacillus anthracis is to transport suspect samples to an accredited Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Laboratory Response Network (LRN) Laboratory for microbiological culture. The policy memorandum addresses only Bacillus anthracis detection. It does not address any other threat agents. The memorandum also appears to focus on single technology testing with no context to the deployment of that technology. However, the memorandum also states that the Department of Defense (DOD) will continue to procure capabilities in addressing DOD requirements.
26 August 2002