Editorial: State Lab safety

The latest report about the State Lab’s drug testing scandal leaves us even less convinced that a facility handling diseases and possible bioterror sample in our backyard is safe and secure.

The Inspector General’s report describes management failures everywhere from the lab to the Governor’s Office. It depicts serious problems with employee background checks and building security. The report only studied the shuttered drug lab, but its call for management reform applies broadly.

The report makes it clear that navel-gazing bureaucrats who lost sight of their public responsibilities enabled the drug lab scandal. We have seen that continued insularity and lack of public responsibility at the local level in post-scandal responses from the Department of Public Health.

Jamaica Plain deserves detailed, factually supported assurances about the State Lab’s safety on all of the points covered by the Inspector General’s report, and sooner rather than later.

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