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December 2000 Newsletter
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To our U.S.A. Readers:

In our September and October/November Newsletters we reminded our U.S. readers to register and vote in the national election for president. Perhaps some of our Floridian readers didn't pay attention and look what happened!

To our non-U.S.A. readers:

Everything is "business-as-usual" in the United States. Most of the "protests" that appeared on TV were staged and the protesters only protested when the TV cameras were turned on.

George W. Bush is the president-elect. Thanks to our Constitution everyone is calm, there are no riots, no one has been hurt, there is no lawlessness, and the legal issues were resolved calmly.

The HMAC Conference and Golf Tournament:

The Conference was a huge success thanks to the great staff at the Hazardous Materials Advisory Council.

From our November-December Newsletter:

The latest figures on the Ebola Virus outbreak in Uganda indicate a total of 421 cases with 162 deaths as of 19 December 2000.

For this issue of our newsletter we would like to continue dealing with Infectious Substances, Division 6.2 

If you only half-read the newspapers you should be aware of the progress that has been made in the Human Genome Project whereby scientists have just about completed identifying all the DNA in humans. Of course, DNA previously received all of its notoriety in the O.J. Simpson trial. But, because of the Genome Project early in 2000, we are seeing almost daily breakthroughs in new health-related discoveries raising possibilities for new treatments of human disease and disabilities. With all of the dreams of research scientists around the world, enormous amounts of studies and experiments are now being accomplished with these microscopic organisms known as genetically modified micro-organisms. Be alert to the possibility that a researcher has not considered that his project may be regulated in transportation.

If the genetic organism contains an infectious substance it must be shipped as a regulated item in division 6.2 as an Infectious Substance either as UN 2814 or UN 2900.

If an animal contains or is contaminated with a genetically modified micro-organisms or  organisms that are infectious substances they are forbidden in transportation unless exempted by the states of origin, transit, and destination.

If genetically modified organisms are known or suspected to be dangerous to humans, animals, or the environment they are forbidden in transportation unless the states involved have issued or approved of an exemption issued by the state of origin.

If the organism is capable of altering animals, plants, or microbiological substances in a way that is not considered a normal result of natural reproduction it must be classified as in Class 9 under UN 3245 (Genetically Modified Micro-organisms).

The danger:  if these micro-organisms are accidentally released into the environment little is known about how they may cause unnatural changes in humans, animals, and plants. Genetic mutations can cause birth defects and serious illness in humans and animals. Accidental crossbreeding in plant life can have disastrous effects.

For those who would like more information on the Human Genome Project you can reap a huge amount of information at: http://www.ornl.gov/TechResources/Human_Genome/

For our U.S. readers please note that the above references to "states" have the same meaning as "countries".

Check our training schedules for upcoming training dates.
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