Submission from the Advisory Committee
on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP)
1. As the Select Committee on Innovation,
Universities and Skills is conducting a new inquiry into biosecurity
in UK Research laboratories, I would like to alert it, to work
the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) are set to
currently undertake. I am the Chair of the ACDP.
2. ACDP is a non-statutory advisory non-Departmental
Public Body. The Committee comprises a Chairman and presently
13 members. The membership is tripartite, with scientific experts,
employer and employee representatives.
3. The terms of reference for ACDP are:
"To advise the Health and Safety Commission,
the Health and Safety Executive, Health and Agriculture Ministers
and their counterparts under devolution in Scotland, Wales and
Northern Ireland, as required, on all aspects of hazards and risks
to workers and others from exposure to pathogens".
4. Following the accidental release of the
FMD virus from Pirbright, Sir Bill Callaghan was asked by the
Government to urgently review the regulatory framework for animal
pathogens. The Government has accepted all the recommendations
set out in Sir Bill Callaghan's report. One of his recommendations
was to develop a single regulatory framework to govern work with
human and animal pathogens. To support this he also recommended
that ACDP be tasked with formulating a common set of containment
measures to apply to both animal and human pathogens.
5. ACDP is due to meet on 5 February and
will discuss how we are going to take this recommendation forward,
which is likely to involve the setting up of a Working Group.
6. You should also be aware that I shall
be chairing a review (although not in my capacity as Chair of
the ACDP) that the Medical Research Council has asked the Health
Protection Agency (HPA) to undertake on containment level 4 laboratory
facilities. The review is due to report to the HPA in June 2008.
The Review will look at issues such as capacity, training requirement/needs,
and regulations covering these facilities.