Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) today called on the council to try to prevent Boston University from beginning work on particularly nasty microorganisms at its Albany Street biolab, by amending city ordinances to prohibit such research.
The facility is currently awaiting approval from the Boston Public Health Commission.
Jackson, also running for mayor this year, raised the spectre of deadly germs escaping the facility just a mile from Dudley Square, home to the busiest bus depot in New England - and the impact on neighboring Boston Medical Center should it be forced to treat a biolab researcher infected with a deadly communicable disease.
Jackson, who has tried before to block deadly germs from Boston, asked his fellow councilors to imagine "a UPS truck picking up a package of ebola and delivering it to Albany Street, which is one of the most densely parts of the City of Boston."
Rather than working on potential bioterror weapons, Jackson said, BU - and the Boston Public Health Commission - should be working on trying to help the people who are sick today, such as the addicts along Albany Street.
Councilor Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, Downtown, Bay Village) opposed Jackson's bid. He said not facility in America has undergone more regulatory oversight than the BU facility and that the research it will do could save "millions and millions of lives."
The measure now goes before a Council committee for a hearing before the council votes on it.