Department of Homeland Security officials met with lawmakers and health officials, Thursday, to come up with new policies and practices for protecting America from bioterrorism.
There's been growing concern in recent years that scientific and medical research hasn't been used to its fullest potential to understand and minimize the threat of bio-warfare.
"I think it's a very complex issue," DHS Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Technology Daniel Gerstein said. "It requires balancing outcomes."
"We don't want to do something precipitously that's going to have a deleterious effect on the science," he continued. "On the other hand ... we have a very important mission in Homeland Security that we must ensure is well served."
Just how big is the threat of bioterrorism to the United States? Click play for more from CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck.
Last year, a bipartisan report gave the U.S. less than satisfactory grades in several areas key to bioterror preparedness, like the ability to quickly approve medical vaccines during a critical outbreak.
Thursday, officials discussed new advances in biotechnology and ways to prevent research from falling into the hands of terrorists.