Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Did a Maine firm seed a Syrian bioweapon?

A Maine firm illegally shipped materials to Syria a decade ago which may have helped that country develop a biological weapon.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Maine Biological Laboratories in Winslow provided materials that could have been used as precursors for Syria's chemical weapons program.

But as I report in today's Portland Press Herald, the materials in question were not helpful either for creating a chemical weapon or for making a weapons for use against humans. Rather, the Maine company provided Syria with a virus that weapons researchers have studied for possible use against enemy agricultural sectors, killing poultry to diminish human food supplies. The company was fined more than $500,000 and eight executives plead guilty and went to prison.

Read on for details.

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