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Federal Biodefense Spending Leveling Off

Cumulative Spending from FY2001 to FY2008 Approaches $40 Billion


JULY 9, 2007 – Baltimore, MD – Since 2001, the U.S. government has spent substantial resources to prepare the nation against a bioterrorist attack. For the past several years, the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has analyzed government spending on biosecurity. In an article published in the journal Biosecurity and Bioterrorism, authors Crystal Franco and Shana Deitch update the figures for 2008 and look at where the money is going.

The article analyzes the budget requests for FY2008 for biodefense at the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Defense, Agriculture, and State as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation. Among the findings:

  • The President’s overall FY2008 budget request for civilian biodefense totals $5.42 billion. This is $309 million more than was requested in FY2007, with funding increases for HHS, DoD, and USDA.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services is the chief recipient of biodefense monies (78%). The FY2008 budget request is $138 million more than the FY2007 request, reflecting the significant reorganization taking place in HHS under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act.
  • The Department of Homeland Security is budgeted to receive $26 million less than in FY2007, a decrease of about 7%.
  • The USDA received the largest budget increase for FY2008—nearly double the FY2007 levels—with most of the money going to the Food Defense and Agricultural Defense initiatives.

“Billions for Biodefense: Federal Agency Biodefense Funding, FY2007–FY2008” by Crystal Franco and Shana Deitch appears in the June 2007 issue of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. The full text is available.

Other articles of interest in the current issue include:

Strengthening Bioterrorism Prevention: Global Biological Materials Management
Reynolds M. Salerno and Lauren T. Hickok
Global biological materials management, defined here as focusing on identifying and protecting those biological materials at the greatest risk of being used maliciously, is a potential solution proposed by these authors to the expanding threat of bioterrorism.

Terrorism Threats and Preparedness in Canada: The Perspective of the Canadian Public
Stacey Gibson, Louise Lemyre, Melanie Clement, Marie-Pierre L. Markon, and Jennifer E.C. Lee
How do Canadians perceive terrorism and the threat of terrorism? The authors conducted focus groups with 75 Canadians to find out. Most of the respondents did not feel overly threatened by terrorist attacks, partly because they believe that Canadians are perceived positively. They were concerned, however, about the larger impact of terrorist threats on their society, such as increased paranoia, discrimination, and threats to civil liberties.

Codes of Conduct and Biological Weapons: An In-Process Assessment
Brian Rappert
The author looks at recent developments in codes of conduct and proposes some criteria for assessing them, with special attention to the work of the National Science Board for Biosecurity as a case study in defining the role of codes.

Terrorism, Trauma, and Mass Casualty Triage: How Might We Solve the Latest Mind-Body Problem?
Charles C. Engel, Steven Locke, Dori B. Reissman, Robert DeMartino, Ilan Kutz, Michael McDonald, and Arthur J. Barsky
In the event of a health emergency, the healthcare system may be overwhelmed not only by people suffering from physical illness or injury but also by people who have physical symptoms related to stress and anxiety. The authors recommend early identification of symptoms, follow-up in primary care, technology-assisted home monitoring where feasible, and active collaboration between providers of psychiatric and primary care.

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The Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) works to prevent the development and use of biological weapons, to catalyze advances in science and governance that diminish the power of biological weapons as agents of mass destruction, and to lessen the human suffering that would result if prevention fails.

 

 

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