Pentagon Admits It Accidentally Sent Live Anthrax to More Than 50 Labs

US Chemical Warfare Response team
Photo: MAI/© Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

The Pentagon admitted today that it accidentally shipped live anthrax samples to at least 51 labs in 17 states, Washington, D.C., and three lucky foreign countries: Canada, South Korea, and Australia. The Department of Defense intended to send dead anthrax samples. Officials owned up to the error last week, but said many more labs had received the samples than previously believed — and that number may go up as the investigation continues. The military sent the samples via FedEx, but said the risk to the public is extremely low, and no cases have been reported. There’s also no evidence the live anthrax was sent intentionally, and the military is pretty sure this was just a mix-up, which isn’t exactly reassuring, either. 

Pentagon: Live Anthrax Sent to More Than 50 Labs