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Germs Gone Wild: How the Unchecked Development of Domestic Bio-Defense Threatens America
     

Germs Gone Wild: How the Unchecked Development of Domestic Bio-Defense Threatens America

by Kenneth King
 

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A shocking exposé of the reckless proliferation of bio-weapon research and the threat this poses to everyday Americans.
Battling a new generation of corporate giants and uncovering threats right in our own backyard, Kenneth King’s Germs Gone Wild reveals the massive expansion of America's bio-defense research labs and the culture of deception

Overview

A shocking exposé of the reckless proliferation of bio-weapon research and the threat this poses to everyday Americans.
Battling a new generation of corporate giants and uncovering threats right in our own backyard, Kenneth King’s Germs Gone Wild reveals the massive expansion of America's bio-defense research labs and the culture of deception surrounding hundreds of facilities that have opened since 9/11.
King experienced the menace of bio-defense research firsthand when local government and business leaders tried to lure a new facility to his hometown in Kentucky. Researching the safety claims, he not only found many of them to be completely false, but was also horrified by the lack of oversight and the recklessness with which these labs genetically modified pathogens like smallpox, Ebola, and influenza without a care for what happened to the public if there was ever a “leak.”
And yet the greed that drove the development of these labs has effectively counteracted any cautionary checks by the government and universities. All have been seduced by the economic gains and corporate stipends that come with compliance and turning a blind eye. But now, the reality of these labs and the germs they manipulate will finally be brought to light, as King examines the controversies surrounding plants from Maryland to Boston and Utah, to the Department of Homeland Security’s dubious National Bio-and-Agro-Facility (NBAF) project, and the precautions—or lack thereof—being taken to protect us all from a deadly pandemic.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 2006, when the Department of Homeland Security was searching for a site to house the "second biggest biodefense facility" in America, the Republican Congressman representing Pulaski County, Ky., was in the forefront of a coalition pushing to house the facility; it would be "as safe as going to Wal-Mart," he asserted. But thousands signed petitions in opposition, including Pulaski resident King, who collected enough evidence to call these safety claims lies. Even after Kentucky was eliminated as a potential home, King continued his research, compiling an impressive number of articles and reports that illustrate not only a widespread failure to track and contain biologically dangerous materials at germ labs across the country, but a history of reckless or even criminal behavior (routing chemical sprayings of U.S. cities through the 1950s, for example). As a chronicle of the development of America's largely unseen biodefense infrastructure, King's book is intriguing; the author combines meticulous research, an often flippant style, and unshakable faith. And this personal connection ultimately stops King's effort from being greater than the sum of its parts.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
King (writing, emeritus, Western Kentucky Univ.) was an active participant in the movement to keep a new National Bio-and Agro-Facility Bio-Safety Level-4 (NBAF BSL-4) lab from being built in Kentucky. He documents the process used by some groups to fight against the local placement of these labs and past problems with other existing high-security biological-research labs. While there is no reason to doubt the facts presented, the book is written in an argumentative and strident tone that will lead only strong supporters of King's viewpoint to read it. His purpose is unclear, and his argument is unlikely to convince anyone of the appropriateness of opposing this type of research. VERDICT This is recommended only for libraries located in areas that were considered for these labs and had active public participation and for die-hard supporters of this cause.—Eric D. Albright, Tufts Univ. Health Sciences Lib., Boston
Ed Hammond
“A superb guided tour of the demented world of twenty-first century bioweapons research in America, where dangerous new labs seem to pop up on every street corner, the lines between offense and defense blur, and people who question the wisdom and safety of it all are derided by their own government.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781605981000
Publisher:
Pegasus
Publication date:
08/07/2010
Pages:
504
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.70(d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth King holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska and a JD from Vanderbilt School of law. King teaches at Western Kentucky University.

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