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India objects to ‘smuggling’ superbug samples out to UK

April 8, 2011 Comments off

timesofindia

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday seriously objected to biological samples in the form of “swabs of seepage water and tap water” being carried out of the country “on the sly” by British scientists to test the presence of the multi-drug resistant superbug.

India said it was a signatory to World Health Organization’s International Materiel Transfer Agreement as per which permission is required to carry out any biological material from the country.

“The way scientists carried out samples from India to be tested in UK does not point to a good scientific motive. It is illegal,” said Dr V M Katoch, director general of Indian Council for Medical Research. “Some people want to keep the heat on India,” he added.

According to him, such multi-drug resistant bacteria — like what is being called a superbug caused by the NDM1 gene — exists in environment across the world. “To keep on pressing India as a hotbed of such superbugs is unfair, and its motive is questionable,” Dr Katoch added.

The scientists had collected 171 swabs of seepage water and 50 public tap water samples Read more…