Question and Answer Session/Closing Remarks

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Thank you all,
speakers, for a wealth of information you shared today. So we have quite a few
questions from our participants. We’ve kind of ordered them just
in the order that they came in. It generally happened that
after each speaker went we got questions for that speaker, so
you’ll probably get them kind of in the order that we spoke. Please remember too, the
microphones, press the button in front of you on the
microphone when you’re talking. Otherwise we won’t
pick up on the audio. So the first question
is, are permits required to transport infectious
agents domestically? This is Von McClee from the
CDC’s import permit program. In regards to the CDC’s
import regulations, we do not typically
require an import permit to transport infectious
material domestically. However, if you receive an
import permit from our program, with the condition of interest
of state that further transfer or moving it is prohibited, that
does mean that you will have to have an additional permit
from our program to transport that infectious material
domestically. And I’ll leave my
colleagues to answer that if they feel
the need to do so. I’m Deb Debasy
from USDA organisms and vectors permitting. We require a permit for
interstate transport of organisms or vectors
that are pathogenic to livestock or poultry. Next question is, are you
required to declare samples when passing through
immigrations on a US/Mexico border, or can
you pass through immigration with the samples and
only open the container and show the permit if asked? I think that’s
for CBP to answer. Short answer is yes, you have to
declare it right at the primary if you are bringing in
any agricultural items of any materials, biologics
and stuff like that coming into the United States. The agriculture programs
and trade obviously through the agricultural
oversight division had made a lot of effort to actually
put signage on points of entry that’s in land
border, pedestrians as well as in passenger environment
where they have buses still. And also in airport passengers. That actually alerts the public to declare whatever
agricultural materials or biological materials
they’re bringing in. So yes. Thank you. We have a couple of questions
about the importation of cells derived from
nonhuman primates. The first one is, do I need to
obtain a permit from the CDC to import viro cells
which were derived from African green monkey
kidney cells in 1962. With a note that the cells
are immortal and are free of any known infectious
pathogens. So this is Adam Langer from CDC’s Quarantine Border
Health Services branch. Any cell lines that are
derived from nonhuman primates, regardless of whether
they’re known or suspected to be infected with
an infectious agent, require an import permit, unless they have been
rendered noninfectious. So since most of these cell
lines would be mostly useless for their intended
purpose if they’re treated to render them noninfectious,
they will require a permit. And that is for viro cells and
any other cell line derived from nonhuman primates. Thank you. We had a researcher apply for
an import permit for human waste from healthy humans
for research purposes and we are unsure what vector
to list since it is not known. What should we indicate
on the application? Could you repeat that
question again please? We have a researcher
applying for an import permit for human waste from healthy
humans for research purposes, and we are unsure what vector
to list since it is not known. What should we indicate
on the application? This is Von McClee from the
CDC’s import permit program. A key point that I think was
made in that question was that these materials are
collected from healthy humans. With that being the case,
if you do not suspect that those samples do not
contain infectious biological agents, then an import permit
from the CDC is not required. I will note that you must
still have what we call a certification statement
with that material if you are importing
into the country. Which specifically states
that the material is not known or suspected to contain
infectious biological agents and the material is collected
from a healthy human. This one is kind
of for CDC and APHIS. Why is there no fee for a CDC
import permit, but there is one for an APHIS import permit? Thank you, this
is Deb from organisms and vectors permitting. Congress gave us the authority to charge user fees
in RCFR9 parts 1-200. And that is why we are
authorized to collect user fees for some of our services. As far as CDC, we do
not have the authority to collect fees for
import permits. And I do not expect that
to ever be the case. I won’t say ever, but it currently is not the
case for CDC at this time. Can we expect APHIS to
provide a comprehensive list of which organisms or vectors
are considered to be a threat to poultry and livestock,
and if so, when? I wish I could go to a
reference that tells me all of the organisms that are
pathogenic to livestock or poultry or humans,
but I can’t. If there were a list that
were available today, tomorrow it would be obsolete. Our applicants are the
experts in the subject of their organisms
and/or their vector. And we expect that they would
know whether these materials are pathogenic to livestock
or poultry. That being said, there are many
resources out there that I use to look up some of the organisms that are requested
on my applications. So we will eventually have
a list that will be used as guidance, but it will
be the most commonly requested organisms. That list will come when we
change from our E permit system to our next system
for applications, which is called Carpal
and I can’t say when that will be available. Thank you. Since APHIS transport permits
need to be renewed each year, if you have an APHIS user
account would it be possible in the future of APHIS to set
up automated renewable permits? Well I guess the answer for the last question
was a good segue to the answer to this question. The E permit system is
going to be transitioned into a new system called Carpal. Within Carpal we will
have a semblance of a list of organisms that need permits. And we will be looking
at automating some of the permitting available
through this Carpal system. Again, we’re working on it
now and I can’t say exactly when this new system
will be implemented or how soon it will be
until we actually get the automated permitting. Another question for APHIS,
is an additional fee required at the time of the inspection? And will fees be returned
if it is determined that a permit is not required? I’m sorry, could
you repeat that? Of course. Is an additional fee required
at the time of the inspection? Some inspections
require an inspection fee. Facilities that are inspected for import are charged an
inspection fee and facilities that are inspected for interstate transport
are generally not charged an inspection fee for
the inspection. But I cannot say if the actual
person’s travel time to get to the area is going
to be charged for. That is not exactly
my department. We have people that are
stationed all over the country that do our inspections
for us and they’re under a slightly different
system than we are, so I can’t say exactly
what those fees are or when they charge them. Except for the very basic
stuff that I just said. The second part to that
was, will fees be returned if it’s determined that
a permit is not required? Usually inspections are
not performed on facilities that are asking for materials
that don’t require a permit. If that has happened
on an individual basis, please send us an email
at [email protected] If that’s what the question was. There’s two possible ways that
I can interpret this question. The other question is when
someone applies for our permits, if the material is not
within our jurisdiction, they ask for that
permit fee back. And I’m actually using
the wrong terminology. It’s not a permit fee. It’s an application fee, and that includes whatever has
been done to decide whether to issue or to not
issue that permit. So it’s not refundable. This is Abu Sayid from APHIS. I would like to answer that. I can tell you also they
don’t know if you already paid for an inspection for a permit. And if you determine that
a permit is required, they can get that fee back. We do not charge to
initiate an inspection until someone submits
an application. An inspection is initiated only when it is determined a
permit will be required and an inspection is required. Then someone from our
office will send a letter that you will need
an inspection. And all of this fee for inspection will be
determined at that time. So there is no question
of returning any fee if your permit is not required. Thank you. When importing nonhuman
primate samples, if the samples have
no known agents, can section E boxes 4-9 be
left blank on the application? Or are we expected to list
any agent we might be looking or testing for? This is Von McClee from
CDC’s import permit program. I would definitely encourage
you to include the agents that you will be testing
for on that application when you submit it
for an import permit. Thank you. I have two related questions
regarding carrying infectious material onto a plane. With regards to the
import permit not allowing for taking questionable
items on a carry-on, does this also pertain
to the cargo hold and a suitcase or package? Could you repeat
the question please? Of course. With regards to the
import permit not allowing for taking questionable
items on a carry-on, does this also pertain
to the cargo hold and a suitcase or package? Any importations that
are supposed to be destined through a cargo environment, whatever regulations
that apply to it. That’s when we apply. Anything else other than
that, anything that relates to the passenger environment
usually has different regulations compared to when you
look at or review documentations or inspect luggages or
packages in a cargo environment. A related question is, my
material was stopped at customs. I had an import permit but
was told the material was not properly packaged. What are the requirements to
import infectious material in my checked luggage? At the port of entry
when CBP inspects packages and when it’s got
infectious materials on it, then it’s subject to Department
of Transportation requirements. And I think I’m going to defer
that to our colleagues here from the Department of
transportation to make sure that the proper requirements
for shipping and packaging infectious
materials are met. Bill? Yes, thank you. Put it mildly and in
general format here, if you have a permit, you
have an infectious substance that should be packaged
accordingly as we had talked about earlier and all. When you transport
this on the aircraft, you cannot put this
into your bag. You cannot carry this
as a carry on package. It must go into the cargo hold
and you must inform the pilot or through whichever
agencies they do that the pilot has notification that this hazardous
material is on board. That is the standard
general packaging. So at that I would obviously
tell you before you get to the airport to contact
the FAA at the airport and confirm any additional
requirements they have specifically. But no, you should
not be carrying this on your handheld baggage
or try to stick it in through your suitcase
and put it in there. Are any permits
required to export material to the original sender
after we have tested it? This is Wesley Johnson from
the Department of Commerce. If it’s something
that we control on our commerce control list,
if it’s one of the agents that we control, by entering
the United States it becomes a United States item
and then export of that wherever it goes
would require a license. This one is for USDA. It reads, many biosafety
officers complete USDA permit applications on behalf of
the principal investigator. E permits does not
allow a person other than the principal investigator
to complete the application. The permits must be in the
PI’s name for various reasons. Is there a plan to address this
impediment to using E permits? I’m sorry, I don’t know
the answer to that question. Sayid, do you have
anything to add? This is Abu Sayed. I’m trying to answer again. So if someone is trying to
use the E permit system, that person must be
registered to our system. If the PI is the only
one who is registered, of course he is the only one
who will be able to enter. So if the biosafety officer
wants to apply for the permit on behalf of the PI, then
he is allowed to do so. But to use the E permit system
he must be authenticated in our system. So I would recommend to
go to our E permit system and submit authentication
process for the biosafety officer. This one is for Dr. Langer. It says, Dr. Langer
referred to a list of ways to render animal
products noninfectious. Does this list apply
to animal feces? So the list of
acceptable methods for rendering a material
noninfectious, which is on the CDC website
and I included the address in my slides, would apply
to any of the materials that are restricted by the Quarantine Border
Health Services branch. Whether or not those methods
would be considered acceptable for items that for example might
be regulated by USDA APHIS, that’s going to be
up to them to decide. But as far as the
animal products that I specifically mentioned
in my portion of the webinar, then that list is comprehensive. This one is for USDA. If someone is ordering
FBS tripsin or BSA from a US supplier to be used
as an ingredient in a medium and that supplier obtains the
ingredient from Australia, then does the person ordering
the ingredient need a VS permit? We require a permit for the
importation of those products. And after that, hopefully
we correctly assume that this material has
been legally entered into the United States and there
is no further permit required for interstate transport, or
intrastate transport from us. This is Abu Sayed. I just would like to add
to one of the questions that my CDC partners said. We start with the line
on importing from outside of the country doesn’t
require a CDC permit. Still an APHIS permit may be
required because of the fact that cell culture
might have used LPS. So just to point out that even
if the CDC will not regulate, if that cell culture has been
growing on or ever exposed to LPS, either US origin or not, it will require an APHIS
permit to be imported. I believe this
one is for the CDC. Please review on a certification
statement as needed and what information
does it need to contain? The certification
statement should be on official letterhead,
which is signed by either the sender
or the recipient. It should include a detailed
description of the material that you are importing
and a description of how that material was rendered
noninfectious or description of why you believe that that
material does not contain or suspected not to contain an
infectious biological agent. We have a few
questions regarding the inspection checklist. Just to combine all of them, where can the inspection
checklist be found? In regards to the CDC’s
import permit program, the inspection checklists
are located on our website. You can feel free to access
that along with our other tools that can be used to prepare
for your inspections. Can I answer that one also? For USDA, we make our
inspection templates off of the BMBL suggestions
and recommendations. And once you apply for a permit, as Dr. Sayid had mentioned
before, once you apply for a permit, if an
inspection is needed, then that inspection form will
be sent to you and I believe to both the applicant
and to the service center who will be doing
the inspection. This one is also for the CDC. As we understand from
the first presentation, the CDC import permit program
will begin conducting entity inspections for BSL-2
permitted materials. What biological agents or activities will trigger
these BSL-2 inspections? I wouldn’t say that
there’s a specific agent that would trigger a
BSL-2 type inspection. Lately we have been
having some issues with BSL-2 type facilities,
for example facilities that are importing
human body parts or facilities importing
blood specimens. So in those type of
cases or instances where reviewing an
application triggers a red flag for our program, we do
still have the ability to inspect those BSL-2
type facilities. Now a majority of our inspection
does include those higher-risk facilities such as BSL-3’s
or your ABSL-3’s. But I did want to
make the public aware that those BSL-2 type
inspections are also of concern to us.>>Does APHIS require
import permits for nucleic acid
sequences for livestock or poultry pathogens even
if they are not pathogenic? Yes, we do. I’m sorry, this is
referencing an FAQ. It says question
18 of the organisms and vectors FAQ page states that APHIS inspections will be
required for any BSL-3 pathogens and selected BSL 2 pathogens. Is there a way for
a list of these to be made publically available
in order to help prepare and assist permittees navigate
the inspection process? We currently have a list
internally of these organisms and their uses that
require inspection. It’s not just the organism. It’s also the use. We will be publishing them
at some point in time. However, right now we are
going to get some input from our commodity centers,
the people that take care of the cattle diseases and horse
and sheep and get their input as to what uses and what
organisms they would like to see inspected. My guess is that our inspection
list is going to be longer. But we don’t have an inspection
list at this time for public. Sorry, no public
inspection list right now. We have a hypothetical
situation. If an influenza vaccine
was developed using eggs and is imported from
East Asia into the US, would that require an import
permit from USDA or CDC? Could you repeat the first
part or the whole thing? Sure. If an influenza
vaccine was developed using eggs and is imported from
East Asia into the US, would that require an import
permit from USDA or CDC? It would require an
import permit from USDA. The type of influenza
wasn’t mentioned, but it actually doesn’t matter
because the material was exposed to eggs from a foreign country. And East Asia is known to have, many of the countries
have Newcastle disease or high-pathogenic influenza. That material might require
safety testing unless the influenza is inactivated
before import.>>As far as the
CDC I would say yes, considering that this particular
vaccine has not been licensed or approved by the FDA
or other federal agencies within the United States. This one is for CBP. How does CBP know
which agency to notify when reviewing documents for
customs clearance of a package? For example, if a package
of an infectious substance from a country where foot and mouth disease is endemic
is received at customs and it has a CDC import
permit, how would CBP know to contact USDA to
verify all permits?>>Anything that has relation
to animal diseases we refer to USDA through our services. It doesn’t make any difference if the import permit
comes from CDC or APHIS. If it’s infectious, we
would actually refer it to the two agencies to make
sure if they equities on it, to make sure that in the
process they are involved in that adjudication
with the shipment. I have a couple more for CBP. Well, maybe not. CDC has a presence at US ports
of entry, but not FWS and USDA. Does a lack of a
physical presence of the regulatory agency or
office at a port of entry lead to delays in customs clearance? That’s a very good question,
and yeah, in a way it is. There are instances for instance where we would need not just
a referral to one agency but to another agency. And sometimes when the
other agency is not present at the port, then
it results in delay. But the process that we make
sure that in any instance, whenever anything
that comes out, that one agency has got
jurisdiction over it, we make sure that they
get notified in any form of communication
process or method. This is also for CBP. How would one give
advance notice to CBP about an incoming package? Is there a specific office
that routes this information to the relevant port of entry? I would give an
example for APHIS. And actually we started with CDC
too when we had Ebola incident. But whenever there is an
importation, for instance in the process of applications
for permit with USDA, they would have to also notify
CBP that there is this incoming for instance soil coming from a foreign country that’s
going to be hand carried. Or a certain biological pest for instance that’s
going to be hand carried. So we get notification with
all the information associated with that shipment. And I think we did
a similar thing with CDC one time
when we started. I think Tom had mentioned
it in one incident when we had the Ebola
materials coming in. With one of the notifications
that was given to me in the process, when it got
stopped at a certain port, I got called over it
and I got a call for it. Then I was able to
adjudicate it and after that we proceeded
with the process. So I actually from a CBP
perspective highly recommend advance notification
because it really– in cases for instance when
we found discrepancies, we would exactly know
which appropriate agency to communicate with to
adjudicate the process. Is there any additional
information related to FedEx’s decision to stop
transporting select agents? At CDC we continue
to be engaged with FedEx regarding this issue. And we’re definitely highly
encouraged that they continue to have an interest in
shipping select agents. I can tell you that
we will continue to have further discussions
with FedEx regarding this issue. I believe this
one is for DOT. Does a category B package have to explicitly say
responsible persons such as is required
for a category A? Or is the name, address
and phone number of the shipper sufficient? Repeat the first part
of that if you would. Does a category
B package have to explicitly say
responsible persons such as is required
for a category A? Or is the name, address
and phone number of the shipper sufficient? I’m going to say
the name and address and phone number are sufficient. It doesn’t have to identify the
‘responsible person’ according to the regulations.>>This one is also for DOT. Is the suspected
category A entry for technical name required
for all category A substances, or just select agents? The regulation cover
this is for select agents. Excuse me, is for select
substances category A, okay? Technically speaking, you
are not going to be wrong if you put a technical
name there for your regular
infectious cat A material. But for select agent we wanted
to go with our concept of lost in the crowd and do not do it. So this is for
advance notification of a regulated entry. Can the import broker do this, or must it come from
APHIS or CDC?>>For advance notification,
that should come from the permitting agency,
which is either APHIS or CDC. I think this might
be for everyone. Can you please provide an
anticipated implementation date for the ACE program for
automated broker interface with other federal agencies?>>I think the target date
for that is November of 2016. It will become the centerpiece
for trade processing.>>I believe this
one is for DOT. IATA requires the
technical name to be included on the shipper’s declaration
of dangerous goods. Can you provide the
reference and either IATA or DOT regulations
that allows an entity to write UN 2814 infections
substance infecting humans?>>First off, IATA is
not a regulatory book. IKIA, which is what IATA is
derived from as well as our 49, of course those two
books are regulatory. If you’re going to play with
airlines, they follow IATA. But in that the site
for documenting on the shipping paper
comes in a 172.202. I can’t remember,
I think it’s (D). But it will say on there
that you are allowed to put suspected category
A infectious substance on the shipping document.>>We have a couple
of questions about how to categorize human blood. Will human whole blood shipped for diagnostic purposes
be category A or B?>>I don’t think at CDC we’re
allowed to answer that question in regards to whether
it’s shipped as category A or category B. So I
will defer the answer to the Department
of Transportation. We’ll go back to the fact that these people handling this
material are the experts in it. We do not classify a material
so depending on the definition of cat A versus cat B, that’s where that person
must go to to determine. Is it that serious, or
is it not that serious? So the DOT does not classify. This question is for USDA. Under what conditions can
an import permit be issued to more than one permittee? For example, if the imported
material must be tested by US government lab, can the
import permit include both the applicant and the US
government lab as a permittee?>>The permittee is the
person that’s responsible for the material and there
can’t be a responsible person in two different places. So I can’t think of an instance where there would
be two permittees. Sayid, did you have
anything to add? No, we do not allow more than
one permittee on one permit. So one permittee, one permit. If more institutes
or more people need, they should have
their own permit.>>I’d like to add though that a
permittee can allow other people to use their material, but
they are still responsible for the material. The permittee is still
responsible for the material. This question is for FDA. Do end use letters require
signatures from the end user or can the importer sign it
on behalf of the end user? I’ve seen it multiple ways. So we have to get at the heart
of what is the end use letter. The end use letter is
someone who is responsible for the product, whether it’s
the importer or the manufacturer in a foreign country or
wherever they had the products. At some point of the
chain of possession and they are attesting to
what is in the package. So as long as we have a
certification from someone that is in some sort
of chain of possession, I think we would be okay
with that, but I’m not sure about the conditions
for other agencies. This one I believe
will be for CDC. Do we need a specific CDC
permit to transport specimens between states that have
tested preliminarily positive but have not been
confirmed to contain agents such as MERS COv or Ebola? I think there’s two different
answers to those questions, specifically regarding
Ebola and MERS. For Ebola, since this is
an agent, there is no need for CDC permit or import permit. You will have to have what
we call a form 2 transfer authorization approved
by the federal program. Now in regards to MERS, right
now what we are requiring from MERS is that if you are
transferring MERS in a facility that you have to have
an additional permit from the CDC’s import
permit program to transfer that material. Now this is only for MERS that
is importing to the country. So once imported, if
that condition is applied to your specific
permit, then you have to have additional authorization
to move that material to other places in the country. This one’s for DOT. Are we required to
have an end route plan for shipping any dangerous goods for each carrier
that are utilized? Does it only apply to
specific quantities or types? For today’s discussion, your transportation
security plan is required for any amount of
a select agent. That is first. Under 172.802 you’ll find the
other applicability interest of it. And primarily what we look at
is bulk quantities of materials, i.e. over 872 gallon capacity
container would put you into a category of possibly
needing a transportation security plan. Or if you do a PIH,
poison inhalation hazard. Those are different
applicability things, but for today’s discussion
any select agent. But a regular cat A, no. This one’s for USDA. Does USDA have a published list of acceptable inactivation
treatments for animal diseases to better help the importers
select raw material suppliers that can meet these criteria? Another short answer: no. This one’s for FDA and unfortunately I don’t
know what the numbers mean, so I’m just going to have to. HCS code 3002100210 human plasma
does not currently allow the FDA to disclaim option for human
plasma clinical specimens due to the FD2 flag. Is the FDA considering allowing
this option for human plasma as it does now for
whole human blood and human serum clinical
specimens? I cannot speak specifically
to that code off the top of my head, so I
encourage the inquirer to submit their question
to our email address so we can specifically
address that. Thank you. Does an overseas lab need to
be inspected before sending or receiving biological material that requires an
importation permit? I’m sorry, repeat
the first part.>>Does an overseas lab need
to be inspected before sending or receiving biological material that requires an
importation permit? For the CDC, the import
regulations do not apply to overseas laboratories. So they will not
have to be inspected by the CDC’s import program. And this one is for USDA. Are the USDA APHIS import and
transport permits separate, or can you have a
permit that covers both? We provide a permit
for import or a permit for transport. They’re not for both. So it’s a multiuse application
for import or transport. And the permit comes
out as import permit or a transport permit.>>And then we have a
general question asking where can the public find
the 49CFR regulatory books? There are obviously
many sources out there, whether it’s JJ Keller, Label
Master, Mancom, any of these. But of course you can pull it up
on the internet under ECFR 49. So it is accessible
and it is also on the FEMSA hazmat website. You can go there and we’ve got
the current version there also. And we don’t have
anyone from PPQ, but we have one last
question asking where they can find a
complete list of organisms which require a PPQ permit. I can’t a full answer
to that, but I do know that they do have a list of
organisms in their E permits. But I don’t know if
that’s a complete list. So those are the question that we have currently
received in our mailbox. If we haven’t been able
to get to your question, we will address them in the FAQs
and post it on the website along with the video and the slide
deck for this presentation. That was the end of the
question and answer session. Thank you, Janet. Now I am delighted to present
to you and introduce Dr. Robbin Weyant,
the director of the Division of Select Agents and Toxins. He will do the closing remarks. Thank you, Dr. Mueller. And I’d like to thank Von McClee
and Diane Martin and the crew at DSAT for putting
this webinar together. This is I believe the third such import permit
webinar that we have done. And based on the quantity
and quality of questions that have come our way today, I think this was an
extremely useful endeavor and extremely good use
of everyone’s time. I’d especially like to
thank all of our presenters, not only for travelling
to Atlanta and providing exceptional
presentations and also exceptional answers to
some very detailed questions. I don’t think I know the select
agent regulations as well as Mr. Stevens knows
his DOT regulations that he can site chapter
and verse so well. So thanks so much to
all of our participants. I just have a couple
of parting thoughts, realizing that I’m the only
thing standing between you and either supper or
your trip to the airport. One is the growing complexity
of the challenge that we face in the area of permitting
and imports and exports. The representatives of
the federal agencies that participated in today’s
webinar really stand at the gate and they guard the
gate of our nation. And their job is becoming
more and more complicated. Many pharmaceuticals
now have as just part of their routine development
pipeline aspects of development that are done inside the United
States then outside the United States and then back
inside the United States. And in order for us to
continue to be able to compete on a world stage in the
pharmaceutical industry, we have to be able to
ensure that those imports and exports are done in
a very efficient manner. Likewise, we’re seeing more
and more global outbreaks. Just this past year we responded to the most significant
Ebola outbreak on record that required substantial
transfers of critical, critical samples and isolates into the United States
from Africa. It also required export
of experimental vaccines from the United States
to Africa. All of this a very
important part of these procedures was ensuring
that these materials could go in and out of the United States
in a very efficient way. So on one hand our challenge
is getting more significant. And that’s another
reason why I’m so pleased to see representatives of all
of the stakeholders here today, because I think collaboration and coordination amongst
stakeholders is absolutely critical for us to have
an optimal system in terms of efficiency of
import and export. And I have great hopes for the
upcoming ACE system and the ITDS in that they may
provide us with a tool to enhance our efficiencies. So much for the challenge
of what we face. The very last thought that I
would like to share with you is to take a step back and think about the end product
of all of this work. You know, I was listening
to the questions coming in and there were a lot of
highly detailed questions. I mean, we got deeply into
the weeds, no pun intended. But this past weekend my
wife and I were travelling in the North Georgia mountains
and we encountered kudzu. Now those of you that don’t live in the southeastern United
States may not know what kudzu is, but it was a plant that was
introduced in the United States in the 20th century
from the orient. It was thought to be some sort
of I guess ornamental plant, but it was found to be
extremely aggressive. And we have lost whole
forests in the state of Georgia due to
kudzu overgrowth. And when one thinks about
the consequences of a release of an exotic organism or plant
pest in the United States, it goes much farther
beyond kudzu. One can only imagine the
public health agricultural or economic consequences of a
release of something like foot and mouth disease or polio
in the United States. So I know this is a
complicated business. It’s got a lot of stakeholders,
a lot of moving parts. But it is a critically
important business to the health and security of our nation. And I’d like to congratulate
our stakeholders on their excellent day
in and day out work to ensure our health
and security. And I’d also like to thank our
participants this afternoon for the great interest in these
programs and for your help. Because together we can continue
to achieve this overall goal of safety and security
for the United States. So with that, I’ll thank you and let you get your
airplanes and your supper.>>That concludes our
webcast for today. Thank you all for
your participation.

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