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

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9781605981000: Germs Gone Wild: How the Unchecked Development of Domestic Bio-Defense Threatens America

A shocking exposť 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.

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About 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.

From 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.
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