Biological weapons are infectious or toxic agents used in warfare. They are banned under the Biological Weapons Convention of 1975 but some countries still have stocks of them. Biological weapons have the potential of a deadly threat against civilian populations.
Smallpox may have been used as a biological weapon in North America in the 18th century. During World War II Britain conducted experiments with anthrax as a biological weapon on Gruinard Island, Scotland. Anthrax was used in a terrorist attack on American citizens in 2001.
James Giordano, a neurology professor at Georgetown University and senior fellow in biowarfare at the U.S. Special Operations Command, said China’s growing investment in bio-science, looser ethics around gene-editing and other cutting-edge technology and integration between government and academia raise the spectre of deadly pathogens being weaponized. In a 2015 academic paper Dany Shoham, a biological and chemical warfare expert at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University asserts that more than 40 Chinese facilities are involved in bio-weapon production.