Don't ignore enormity of Maine Biological's chicken virus scheme

MAINE - The punishments seem appropriate: Maine Biological Laboratories will pay a $500,000 fine and four of its former executives will serve a year in federal prison.

It is important, however, that people in central Maine understand the enormity of the offense.

Officials with Maine Biological Laboratories, known as MBL, put thousands of people at risk in 1998 when they illegally smuggled a chicken virus into the United States from Saudi Arabia so the Winslow-based company could create a vaccine.

It is illegal to import avian influenza into the country, even for research purposes. When handing down the fine last Friday in Bangor, U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. said the risk that MBL created was "enormous" and "potentially devastating."

He said the virus, if handled improperly, could have harmed people over a wide area.

calendar icon 9 August 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.