In 1972, the world took a giant step forward when the Biological Weapons Convention was first signed, banning the production of biological weapons. It commits the 183 member states that are a part of it to prohibit the development, production, and stockpiling of offensive biological and toxin weapons.

However, the absence of any formal verification process to monitor compliance has severely limited the effectiveness of the treaty.

A long process of negotiation to add a verification mechanism began in the 1990s. Previously, at the second Review Conference of State Parties in 1986, member states agreed to strengthen the treaty by reporting annually on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to the United Nations. (Currently, only about half of the treaty signatories actually submit these voluntary annual reports.) The following Review Conference in 1991 established a group of government experts. Negotiations towards an internationally binding verification protocol to the BWC took place between 1995 and 2001 in a forum known as the Ad Hoc Group. On July 25th, 2001, the Bush administration, after conducting a review of policy on biological weapons, decided that the proposed protocol did not suit the national interests of the United States.

So enforcement of the Biological Weapons Convention is basically voluntary.


Incredibly,  research on the creation of new biological weapons is not technically illegal if it can be portrayed as a means of testing out potential threats.

Article I

Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; (Full Text of Convention Here)

          And Article X goes on to specify that toxins can be developed for research purposes, "the application of scientific discovery."

Article X

(1) The States Parties to this Convention undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the use of bacteriological (biological) agents and toxins for peaceful purposes. Parties to the Convention in a position to do so shall also cooperate in contributing individually or together with other States or international organizations to the further development and application of scientific discoveries in the field of bacteriology (biology) for prevention of disease, or for other peaceful purposes. (Full Text of Convention Here)

So while the production of biological weapons is banned for military purposes, it is still allowed for "peaceful" purposes, which seems like quite the loophole. The biological convention and its loopholes.

Today, all this relates to the mass Covid 19 pandemic that has swept the globe. We don't know if Covid 19 was developed in a lab, but it is possible that many diseases like it could be in the future. So this exposes the threat of a new and deadly biological arms race in the years to come.

Deadly pathogens discovered in the wild can be studied in secret in labs — and sometimes made more dangerous. That possibility, and other plausible scenarios, have been incorrectly dismissed in remarks by some scientists and government officials, and in the coverage of most major media outlets.


It has come to light in the news recently that Boston University was tinkering with the Covid virus. There is a controversy about this because there are allegations that Boston University may have made the virus more deadly, while the researchers at the university have made the counter claim that they made the virus less deadly. We are not going to get into the specifics of who is right and who is wrong. But this situation at Boston University highlights the need for much closer regulation of this kind of research.

The Boston episode “certainly tells us the P3CO [the Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight] framework needs to be overhauled pretty dramatically,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. “The whole process is kind of a black box that makes it really difficult for researchers.” (New York Times, 10-22-22)

And the guidelines for research that does not rely directly on government funds does not currently have to follow the government's rules.

"Critics of P3CO have complained that this evaluation happens largely in secret and ignores projects that aren’t funded by the U.S. government. In January of 2020, the government’s advisory panel, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, held a public meeting to discuss reforms. But subsequent meetings were canceled, ironically enough, because of Covid’s arrival." (New York Times, 10-22-22)

So there needs to be dramatically more oversight over pathogen research, whether this research is government funded or not.


Many American labs operate in secret, and are also known to be accident-prone. (USA Today)

In December 2009, Reuters reported that the Obama administration was refusing even to negotiate the possible monitoring of biological weapons. (Reuters)

The legal scholar who drafted the main U.S. law on the subject, Francis Boyle, warned in his 2005 book, "Biowarfare and Terrorism," that an "illegal biological arms race with potentially catastrophic consequences" was underway, largely driven by the U.S. government.

As mentioned above, we don't know if Covid 19 was engineered in a lab in Wuhan. We don't know. This is speculation. But what we're saying is that there is much going on in secret in biolabs around the world that cannot be monitored. All countries should allow on sight inspections for biological weapons. There is no infrastructure of enforcement or containment for this activity.

In the 1990 book, "Preventing a Biological Arms Race," scholar Susan Wright argued that current laws regarding bioweapons were insufficient, as there were "projects in which offensive and defensive aspects can be distinguished only by claimed motive." Boyle notes, correctly, that current law he drafted does not make an exception for "defensive" work, but only for "prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes."

And what is scary, is that individuals can create their own biological weapons (Futurism). Gene editing technology is simpler and cheaper than ever.

Short sequences [of DNA] can be purchased by researchers or hobbyist gene editors. If they were so inclined, they could build a pathogen from scratch or make one that already exists more dangerous. (Futurism)

No longer are gene editing tools restricted to reputable scientists working in prestigious government or university labs; D.I.Y. CRISPR-Cas9 kits and other means of genetic manipulation are available to hobbyists, independent biotech companies, and citizen scientists. (New York Times)

It is also difficult to tell whether a virus was bio-engineered or not, unless one has a sample of the original virus, because there are millions of naturally occurring viruses out there. (Science Daily, 5-21-19)

We urge all the great nations of the world, China, Russia, the U.S., to come together to enforce better verification systems for preventing the production of biological weapons in the future, before the world is put through multiple pandemics to come.


Read Full Text of Convention Here

Official Website

About the Biological Weapons Convention (Wikipedia)

Ban without checks: The Biological Weapons Convention and its loopholes (Warpp)



Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology 2018

Above is a report about America's capability to defend against biological weaponry.

How ready is America to face a biological weapons attack? The answer is, not ready at all.



Biowarfare & Terrorism - by Francis Boyle

Preventing A Biological Arms Race - by Susan Wright



Lab Manipulations of Covid Virus Fall Under Murky Government Rules (New York Times, 10-22-22)



Did this virus come from a lab? Maybe not — but it exposes the threat of a biowarfare arms race (Sam Husseini)

Questioning the CDC: Is it a Complete Coincidence That China's Only BSL4 Is in Wuhan? -- Audio and Video (Sam Husseini)

CDC failed to disclose lab incidents with bioterror pathogens to Congress (USA Today, 6-24-16)



Developing biosecurity tool to detect genetically engineered organisms in the wild (Science Daily, 5-21-19)

It is difficult to tell whether something is bio-engineered or not if you don't have the original virus.

Because there are millions of naturally occuring viruses out there.

Synthetic Biological Weapons May Be Coming. Here’s How To Fight Them. (Futurism, 6-21-18)

Biohackers and Gene Editing (New York Times, 5-14-18)

Germs Don't Respect Borders (NTI, 12-30-15)