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Some seem too quick to overlook major concerns about BU biolab

The article “CDC backs BU lab for deadliest pathogens” (Metro, Dec. 25) may have left the the impression that most people in the community are not concerned about the safety of the Biosafety Level 4 lab at National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories. Timothy McCarthy, the only city councilor quoted in the article, said District 5 constituents in Hyde Park and Roslindale have not voiced any major concerns about the research being done at the Boston University labs.

McCarthy’s comments paint a different picture from a 2014 letter to Mayor Walsh from the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, in which nearly 100 area organizations and high-profile individuals stated that they were “firmly opposed to the operation of a BSL-4 laboratory in the City of Boston.” The organizations include the Boston Branch of the NAACP, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the Conservation Law Foundation, and the American Friends Service Committee. Individual signers include community activists, current and former Boston city councilors, and a former state senator.

In addition, a group of active local residents has been working diligently for 13 years to stop the lab, for fear of the health of their neighborhood.


Lynn C. Klotz

The writer is a senior science fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington, D.C., where he is a member of the Scientists Working Group on Biological and Chemical Security.