Advertisement

Archive for Friday, July 13, 2012

Federal panel supports Kansas biosecurity lab project

July 13, 2012

Advertisement

— A government-backed committee of the National Research Council issued a report Friday giving the Department of Homeland Security two viable options for moving forward on a $1.14 billion biosecurity research lab planned in Kansas.

In this Nov. 17, 2010 file photo, a sign marks the future home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, Kan. Gov. Sam Brownback and members of the state’s congressional delegation announced Wednesday that the move indicated the federal department is committed to building the $1.14 billion National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

In this Nov. 17, 2010 file photo, a sign marks the future home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, Kan. Gov. Sam Brownback and members of the state’s congressional delegation announced Wednesday that the move indicated the federal department is committed to building the $1.14 billion National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

The study was prepared by a subcommittee formed this spring by the council to look at three options for building the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility that is to be built in Manhattan near the Kansas State University campus.

DHS asked the National Research Council to review the threats of foreign animal disease, the capabilities needed to address those threats and analyze three options. One included keeping the current research at Plum Island, N.Y.

While the committee found that the need for such a research lab hadn't changed since the project was first proposed in 2006, it did find that DHS had two options for completing the goal of developing laboratory capabilities to respond to a biosecurity threat. However, the report concluded that both options had drawbacks.

The first would be to continue designing and construct the new lab in Kansas, which would give the United States a large-animal lab with so-called Level 4 security to handle such deadly diseases as foot and mouth. However, because the costs for the project have escalated, the committee suggested DHS look for alternative funding sources. It was noted that such labs have been funded in Australia through industry support.

The second option would be to scale back the size of the project and disburse research of diseases across the country.

A third option, which would leave current research at Plum Island and rely on foreign labs to conduct research and deter threats, was rejected by the committee.

Kansas officials applauded the committee's report and called on DHS to move forward with acquiring the land in Manhattan and beginning construction.

Comments

Joe Blackford II 1 year, 9 months ago

kansanbygrace - XL points!

You do know the NBAF stormwater drainage plan is to pump runoff exceeding the containment pond(s) capacity North to Marlatt, then East to the Big Blue River, just upstream from where it joins the Kaw.

Direct route to you Larryvillans.

So what are you downstream folks' excuses for allowing KSU to keep you in the fast lane to receive an accidental, or intentional, pathogenic release during the rainy season?

0

kansanbygrace 1 year, 9 months ago

Is there a hole in the logic (?) when a proposal to import, cultivate, and manipulate the most dangerous diseases to the world's food production is made to locate that on the banks of an enormous watershed that crosses about 2/3 of our nation's food-growing land? How about putting those pathogens in the center of intense high-density animal production facilities, whose products are being transported in every direction to the entire world?
We cannot contain anything else in science or industry without occasional accidents/system failures. Is it rational to imagine this once we could fabricate a perfect facility? A minor failure could very possibly turn an "oops" into a catastrophe the scale of which the world has never seen. A better location could be chosen where an accident would not put escapee contaminants and contagions in the Kaw-Missouri watershed and in the prevailing westerlies plume directly up-current from our nation's, and the world's centers of industry, commerce and government. Or will some chosen out-source provider invent perfection never before seen? Is this a question of wishful thinking, or of potential profitability to a few politicos?

0

blindrabbit 1 year, 9 months ago

A Trojan Horse; this will keep giving a couple of ways. In the better of the two, many jobs, improved economy, higher technology; on the downside, hope we do not create a Bruch Ivans type, or a major release that permantly destroys the livestock industry or worse yet releases a human pathogen or toxic chemical. Seems like quite a gamble to me considering that some of the work will be done off-site of the central high security area. Keep in mind, this decision was a political one and not based on logic. Good luck, Kansas.

0

Joe Blackford II 1 year, 9 months ago

“We really did not rank any of the options that we were given,” said Terry McElwain, chairman of the committee. “There is a really more thorough and comprehensive analysis that would need to be made by decision-makers before a decision is made, and we didn’t feel we could do that.”

http://cjonline.com/news/2012-07-13/fed-report-kansas-best-nbaf-option#comment-596711

Three options were given to DHS.

The AP is being misleading with the statement: "A third option, which would leave current research at Plum Island and rely on foreign labs to conduct research and deter threats, was rejected by the committee.'

0

Joe Blackford II 1 year, 9 months ago

AP's John Milburn dyslexic on Option #3?

"In its assessment of the third option, the report says that maintaining the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and leveraging foreign laboratories for large animal Biosafety Level 4 needs would avoid the costs of constructing a new replacement facility. However, the facilities at Plum Island do not meet current standards for high biocontainment."

http://phys.org/news/2012-07-scaled-back-nbaf-options-critical-lab.html#jCp

I believe most of the AP's view on #3 is a reflection of the Committee's view on using foreign labs, NOT on updating Plum Island.

I believe Kansas AP has consistenly refused to look behind the "curtain of transparency" (to cite Brownback) thrown up by KSU and DHS' site selection process.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.