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

Memorandum 38

Supplementary evidence from Professor George Griffin following oral evidence session on 17 March 2008


  Thank you for sending the transcript of my evidence to the Committee. There are several points that I wish to clarify.

  In response to question 33, I erroneously stated that I am conducting a review on behalf of the Medical Research Council (MRC). In fact this review is being led by the Health Protection Agency, as stated in question 42. It should be clear that there is only one review. The MRC is a co-sponsor of the review which is currently in early planning stages and further sponsors have been approached. I defined the terms of reference to the Subcommittee.

  In response to question 39, it was my intention to say three to six months which is the timescale for the report, in line with my answer to question 43 in which I state that the report is due to be ready on 1st October 2008. Whilst I stated that I would wish to avoid situating a containment level 4 facility in a major conurbation, I would like to make it clear that decisions of that nature are informed by multi-factorial risk assessments in which scientific benefits are viewed in the context of potential risks, as I said in response to question 43. Furthermore, I wish to emphasise that risk assessment is the driving mechanism informing the planning, maintenance and running of such facilities.

March 2008

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