Former CFIA Researchers Charged in Attempt to Export Dangerous Pathogens

The RCMP has recently charged two former researchers of Canadian Food Inspection Agency for allegedly trying to export dangerous pathogens, which could have infected humans and livestock. In an official statement released to the press, the Mounties revealed on Tuesday, that Dr. Klaus Nielsen and Wei Ling Yu have been charged with breach of trust by a public officer. It was added that Nielsen is scheduled to appear in court later this month, whereas the RCMP has already issued a Canada-wide warrant for Yu’s arrest.

The RCMP have been pursuing this case after an incident reported by the CFIA in March 2011. The investigation was codenamed Project SENTIMENTAL, whereas documents show it was focused on the former researchers’ “unlawful efforts to commercialize intellectual property belonging to the CFIA and a private commercial partner.” RCMP took Nielsen in their custody on Oct. 24, 2012 during an attempt to leave the country via the Ottawa airport. The police found 17 vials of pathogens on him, that were containing live brucella bacteria. RCMP arrested him for breach of trust by a public officer and the unsafe transportation of a human pathogen.

A news release stated that “the RCMP, in collaboration with their partners, were able to quickly and efficiently mobilize and respond to this threat which helped minimize the public’s risk of exposure to these contagious substances.” The Canadian Food Inspection Agency revealed that the disease caused by exposure to brucella bacteria, Brucellosis, is easily transmitted between different species of mammals, including humans.

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