File this in the “Well, Duh!?!” department. Farmers and ranchers have been screaming about this for months. Tornado Alley is generally considered to include Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Kansas averages 47 tornadoes a year, while Oklahoma averages 52, Texas 124 and Nebraska 37, per DisasterCenter.com. The tiny yellow-red star in Kansas is where gov wants to locate the lab. And let’s not kid ourselves, translate NewsSpeak of “biodefense” with”bioweapons development.” ~Ed.
New Study Questions Safety of Proposed Biodefense Laboratory
By Martin Matishak
Global Security Newswire
This November 16 article should have stated that a calculation that there is a nearly 70 percent chance a pathogen could escape the planned Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Kansas was made by a National Research Council panel based on data from a U.S. Homeland Security Department risk assessment. The NRC panel also estimated economic losses of between $9 billion and $50 billion from a postulated foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.
WASHINGTON — An expert panel said yesterday the U.S. Homeland Security Department has not adequately gauged the potential risks associated with a proposed multimillion-dollar infectious-disease research laboratory in Kansas (see GSN, May 20 ).
(Nov. 16) – A rendering of the U.S. National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility planned for Manhattan, Kansas. In a report issued yesterday, the National Research Council said a government safety evaluation for the proposed facility contained “several major shortcomings” (U.S. Homeland Security Department image).
There are “several major shortcomings” in a department risk assessment of its planned National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility near Manhattan, Kansas, according to a report by the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The proposed site is roughly 120 miles west of Kansas City.
The facility’s construction is expected to cost between $500 million and $700 million. The 520,000-square-foot center, slated to begin construction in 2012, would study highly infectious animal-borne pathogens, some of which could pose a threat to humans. It would replace the Plum Island Disease Center located near Long Island, New York, which was established in 1937.
The new site would also be the world’s third Biosafety-Level 4 Pathogen laboratory to work with large animals. The other two such facilities are in Australia and Canada.
The council calculated that based on estimates in the DHS assessment, which wrapped up in June, that there is a nearly 70 percent chance a disease would escape the laboratory during its planned 50-year operational lifespan. The DHS report estimated the economic losses from a postulated foot-and-mouth disease outbreak at $9 billion to $50 billion.
However, yesterday’s 146-page NRC analysis states that the actual amount could be “significantly higher” because the department’s assessment did not consider the dangers associated with daily upkeep of large animal holding rooms.
Read the full post at Global Security Newswire