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Germany Requests Assurances on Virus Export

Germany Requests Assurances on Virus Export (WikiLeaks) 15 Dec 2009 From: Germany Berlin To: Secretary of Defense | Secretary of State "For Official Use Only" --A German firm has applied for the approval of the export of 184 genetic elements with nucleic acid sequences of viruses for the production of recombinant viruses. The viruses will be used in optical imaging to identify host factors required for viral replication. The recipient in the USA is, according to the enclosed end use certificate, the Department of the Army "US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)" Fort Detrick, Maryland...The goods are controlled by the Australia Group and are subject to compulsory export approval (List position C1C353A). This matter concerns the complete genome of viruses such as the Zaire Ebola virus, the Lake Victoria Marburg virus, the Machupo virus and the Lassa virus, which are absolutely among the most dangerous pathogens in the world. The delivery would place the recipient in the position of being able to create replicating recombinant infectious species of these viruses. Because of the particular criticality of these goods, the German federal government practices an exceptionally restrictive approval policy for such exports...The enclosed end use certificate is on the letterhead of the U.S. Army. The required official seal is missing, however.