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Biosecurity and human health: preparing for emerging infectious diseases and bioweapons inquiry


One year after the publication of the Government’s first ever Biosecurity Strategy, the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy is to inquire into the Government’s approach to biosecurity and human health.

The strategy is intended to coordinate a cross-government approach to biosecurity threats, whether they materialise naturally, accidentally or deliberately in the form of a malicious attack. It cites globalisation and technology as key factors in today’s biosecurity risks.

The Government has long prioritised public health as a national security issue, with pandemics and emerging infectious diseases categorised as a top-tier risk in the 2010 and 2015 National Security Risk Assessments.

Attacks using biological weapons are categorised as a second-tier risk, along with attacks using chemical, radiological and nuclear weapons.

In 2018, the Government’s National Security Capability Review elevated “diseases and natural hazards affecting the UK” to one of six principal challenges likely to drive national security priorities over the coming decade.

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  • Address: Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA