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FORGOTTEN: Vials of ricin and plague discovered in US lab

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Infectious, deadly diseases and toxins like plague, botulism and ricin have been uncovered at government laboratories in the United States. The discovery also revealed some of the vials had been stored for over 60 years.

The revelations come after officials from the National Institute of Health (NIH) made a sweep of government owned laboratories in July after they found smallpox. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also admitted it had found vials at a lab at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Reuters / Ints Kalnins

Reuters / Ints Kalnins

Worryingly, inspectors also uncovered toxins and viruses, which had been lying around since 1954, with staff ignorant of the fact. The NIH said the discoveries were made between July 29 and August 27. The information was only made public on Friday.

“These things were stored in locations where they should not have been stored,” said Alfred Johnson, director of the NIH’s office of research services, which is coordinating the searches at government labs, the Washington Post reported.

Johnson also added that the NIH conducts research “on the most dangerous materials out there. All of these were found in containers that were intact, and there have been no exposures. It reminds us, just like my garage at home that from time to time, we need to check.”

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