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K-State Today

June 8, 2017



Researchers asked to review inventories, notify university select agent program if using listed toxins

By Margaret Juergensmeyer

Kansas State University researchers are asked to review inventories and notify the University Select Agent Program if using any listed biological toxin.

The U.S. government has been closely watching the transfer of certain biological organisms and toxins to combat terrorism since 1995. The Select Agent Program was developed to regulate the possession, use, and transfer of biological agents and toxins that could pose a severe threat to public health and safety. Through the years, the program has changed to keep up with science, remove research barriers, and simplify coordination between agencies.

In late 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture published final rules amending regulations that govern the possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins — read 42 CFR Part 73, 7 CFR Part 331, and 9 CFR Part 221. Among the changes were new requirements for transferring select toxins, regardless of the quantity.

K-State must conduct this annual survey to remain in compliance with the regulations. Researchers possessing any of the toxins listed below are asked to notify the university's Select Agent Program as soon as possible:

  • Abrin
  • Botulinum neurotoxins
  • Conotoxins
  • Diacetoxyscirpenol
  • Ricin
  • Saxitoxin
  • Staphylococcal enterotoxins
  • T-2 toxin
  • Tetrodotoxin

All university principal investigators are asked to review their inventories to verify if they possess any of these toxins. If you do possess any of these select toxins in any quantity, and have not already submitted toxin inventory for 2017, please notify Julie Johnson, the responsible official for the University Select Agent Program, at jajohns@k-state.edu or 785-532-3248 by July 1.

It is recommended to use the EHS Assistant inventory system to track the type, quantity and location of toxins. Researchers whose inventory of select toxins is current on EHS Assistant only need to report that the inventory is on EHS Assistant, and a report will be run. Researchers whose inventory of select toxins is not on EHS Assistant will need to email an inventory to Johnson.