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Supporters note that Malaysia is making efforts to be vigilant against terrorism and that building such a lab with an American partner allows the U.S. government "to have some measure of influence and control on foreign 'biodefense efforts.""The question for (U.S. officials) is, 'How can we ensure a 'responsible' biotech sector in places like Malaysia, which are Muslim and are cranking out capable and well-educated scientists and have the money to build state-of-the-art facilities?' " says Edward Hammond, who used to head the Sunshine Project, which monitors biosecurity efforts. Hammond has long criticized lax U.S. government oversight of facilities handling dangerous bio-agents. He said strategic imperatives have, by and large, trumped security concerns about new overseas labs.
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