The House of Representatives approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would force the Pentagon to disclose if it experimented with weaponizing ticks between 1950 and 1975.
The amendment was sponsored by New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith (R), who has been a staunch supporter of Lyme Disease research. If the Pentagon did conduct experiments on weaponized ticks, the amendment requires the Inspector General to compile a report of the research to determine "whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design."
Smith says that he decided to add the amendment to the NDAA because he has read "a number of books and articles suggesting that significant research had been done at U.S. government facilities including Fort Detrick, Maryland and Plum Island, New York to turn ticks and other insects into bio-weapons."
It is unclear if the amendment will remain in the NDAA when it reaches President Donald Trump's desk. The Senate passed a version of the spending bill that did not include Smith's amendment, and the two chambers are working to reconcile their bills.
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