Select Committee on Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Written Evidence

Memorandum 11

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.

January 2008

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2008
Prepared 25 June 2008