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Frederick group urges Md. to regulate biolabs

FREDERICK — A watchdog group in Frederick is urging state licensing and registration of laboratories that handle certain deadly pathogens.

The Frederick News-Post reports that the Containment Laboratory Community Advisory Committee filed comments last week with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The state agency is accepting public comments through Saturday on its recent report to the General Assembly on private biocontainment labs. The labs handle pathogens that are not lethal enough to be regulated as potential biological weapons.

The state agency isn’t recommending new regulations. It raised the possibility of licensing and regulation as something for lawmakers to consider.

The Frederick group says state regulation could close a gap in oversight of private labs.

Opponents say state oversight would hurt the competitiveness of Maryland’s life sciences and biodefense industries.

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