US military to buy anthrax and bioweapons production systems

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Anthrax Bacteria

The US Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah is looking for a subcontractor to produce the anthrax bacillus anthracis Sterne strain in 1,500 litre quantities. The Sterne strain is not thought to be harmful to humans, but the intended use of the anthrax remains unclear, worrying anti-biological weapons activists. Other recent Dugway contracts for equipment to produce unspecified biolgical agents in 3,000 litre batches are even more concerning to activists.

The contracts were uncovered by The Sunshine Project, a group opposed to biological weapons development based in Germany. The work involved seems to cast doubts on the ability of the US to live up to its commitments to the Biological Weapons Convention. The post 9/11 anthrax attack upon the U.S. used weaponized U.S. Army anthrax [1] [2], most likely produced at Fort Detrick.

A Dugway spokesperson declined to specify what the biological agents would be used for.