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MORE DECEPTION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE US Attorney Misleads Public About “Danger” of Harmless Bacteria in
Case of Professor Kurtz

March 13, 2007, Buffalo, NY—, in response to a local news report
featuring a YouTube video about the Orwellian case of internationally
acclaimed artist and SUNY Buffalo Professor Steven Kurtz, U.S.
Attorney Terry Flynn deceived Buffalo viewers. Flynn claimed on WGRZ- TV News that the Department of Justice is pursuing charges against
Kurtz because harmless bacteria used in his art were “dangerous,”
“not available to the general public,” and that Kurtz had “misled

These outrageous allegations fly in the face of the prosecution’s own
admissions in court, of the charges against Kurtz, and of scientific
consensus about the harmless nature of Serratia marcescens, Bacillus
subtilis, and gut Ecoli. The three bacteria were used in Kurtz’s
participatory science-theater performances with Critical Art
Ensemble, an art and theater group Kurtz co-founded in 1987 with his
wife Hope Kurtz. Prior to Kurtz’s detention he and Critical Art
Ensemble had safely used these bacteria in performances and projects
at many of the world’s most important cultural institutions,
including the London Museum of Natural History, Schirn Kunsthalle
Frankfurt, the London ICA, The New Museum in NYC, the Henry Art
Gallery in Seattle, and many others.

The bacteria cultures, frequently used by science hobbyists and in
classrooms, are available from most science supply outlets and
require no license or government authorization to obtain. These
bacteria are not restricted by law, and are not governed by any
government regulations. The prosecution admitted this in a pre-trial
hearing on May 17, 2005 under questioning by Magistrate Judge H.
Kenneth Schroeder.

The other claim, that Kurtz mislead investigators, is also completely
false. Kurtz cooperated with investigators until advised by his
attorney to stop. Kurtz has not been charged with lying to the FBI or
obstruction of justice.

CONTINUED PUBLIC PRESSURE CRITICAL In order to counter the ongoing smear campaign by the Department of
Justice (DoJ), the CAE Defense Committee has launched a new education
fund. The CAE Education Fund will focus on producing and distributing
information to the public that is factual and grounded in the
realities of the case, as well as on creating other opportunities and
events that will explain how supporters can help and how to keep
public pressure on the DoJ. The current corruption scandal in which
the DoJ has been transformed by the Bush administration into a
conservative political enforcement agency makes such action more
necessary than ever.

BACKGROUND TO THE CASE As detailed in the short film “Steve Kurtz Waiting” < http:// >, Kurtz’s surreal nightmare began when his wife of 20 years died of heart failure. Medics arrived, became
suspicious of Kurtz’s art, and called the FBI. Within hours the artist was detained as a suspected "bioterrorist" as
dozens of agents in hazmat suits sifted through his work and impounded his computers, manuscripts, books,
his cat, and even his wife’s body. Today Kurtz and his long-time science consultant Dr. Robert Ferrell,
former Chair of the Genetics Department at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health,
face up to 20 years in jail on trumped-up “mail fraud” and “wire
fraud” charges.

For more information about the case, please visit http:// To donate to the CAE Education Fund, please visit http:// To receive updates by email, please join group/CAE_Defense.

CONTACT: media @

Originally posted on Raw by ryan griffis