Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists The Biological Weapons Convention: Proceeding without a verification protocol [... One Health efforts including surveillance of human, animal, and plant diseases should be encouraged, expanded, and supported. ...] By Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP | 9 May 2011 The Seventh Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) will be held this December in Geneva, with member states convening to assess the bioweapons nonproliferation regime and discuss ways to improve it. But is it worth trying to strengthen the BWC? Since its inception, the treaty has been plagued with well-recognized deficiencies: It lacks an implementing body, a verification protocol, an ability to investigate alleged violations, universality (it has only 163 member states), and industry support. Even after signing and ratifying the treaty, some member states (the Soviet Union, Iraq, and South Africa) contravened it by pursuing clandestine bioweapons programs. Yet despite its weaknesses, the BWC is an important part of the nonproliferation regime; improving it -- with or without a verification protocol -- is in the best interest of biosecurity. ... Please read complete article: