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Governor Reverses on Anti-Botulism Funding

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Governor Gray Davis has reversed himself to restore California budget funding to a program that´s considered a priority in combating bioterrorism. The program that was to lose its funding after June 30th produces the only safe botulism treatment for infants.

The botulism toxin is the most poisonous of the toxins occurring naturally on Earth. Davis had proposed cutting the $1.5 million Infant Botulism Treatment and Prevention Program from next year´s budget. The program is developing a botulism antidote that scientists say is the best now available. It´s also called the only safe treatment for infants who represent 75% of about 120 botulism cases occurring in the United States each year.

The governor restored the program at an unspecified level of funding one day after federal officials said the botulinum toxin is a potential bioweapon. The state will continue to try to obtain some federal funding for the program.