A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) official broke the agency's own protocol for the handling of infectious materials, director Steve Kuo (郭旭崧) said yesterday.
Six strains of the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei were were released to Su Hsun-pi (
Su failed to report the requests. The bacteria can cause a deadly infection and is considered a potential biological weapon.
Su, the sister of Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (
"This was a shameful event," said Kuo at a press conference held by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Tsai Chin-lung (
Tsai obtained documents issued by Su requesting the bacteria from Kaohsiung and Tainan area hospitals using the authority of the third-branch office. However, she never reported the requests to the CDC itself.
"What Su has done is abused the power of her office for her own personal ends," Tsai said. "The danger posed to the public should the bacteria fall into the wrong hands is enormous."
According to the CDC, Su maintained that she received the bacteria on Dec. 5 last year, but destroyed it five days later as it arrived too late to aide her research.
"She gave me her personal guarantee that all the bacteria have been destroyed," Kuo said. "There is no danger to the public."
However, Tsai was not mollified.
"I find the CDC reaction totally inadequate," Tsai said. "Not only can they not independently verify the destruction of the bacteria, Su is still at work and taking home her salary."
According to the center, Su's error was discovered during a routine inspection of hospitals by CDC safety division staff a month ago.
"We had no intention of keeping the story hidden," said Guo, who said that he reported the matter in a Department of Health meeting three weeks ago.
Deputy Director of the CDC Lin Ting (
"For now, we will stop any research in process, but I cannot say what the decision of the panel will be," he said.
Lin said that he could not offer comment on what Su's motives might have been for circumventing the rules.
"I have not spoken to those involved regarding the matter," added Lin, who also serves as CDC spokesman.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
MEDICINAL HERB: The FRIL protein extracted from hyacinth beans helped laboratory mice survive H1N1 infection and effectively neutralized the coronavirus A protein isolated from hyacinth beans, a medicinal herb known for centuries, has been found to restrict the activities of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses in laboratory experiments, a team of Academia Sinica researchers said yesterday. The beans’ curative effect is documented in the 16th-century Chinese medicine classic Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) and they are also a food source in some countries, the Genomics Research Center’s Chemical Biology Division Director Alex Ma (馬徹) told a news conference in Taipei. Center senior research specialist Jan Jia-tsrong (詹家琮) experimented with up to 500 medicinal herbs to see if they could restrict influenza viruses and