U.S. Senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts along with Representatives Lynn Jenkins, Jerry Moran, and Todd Tiahrt today commented on the upcoming National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kan. The comments came in response to an article appearing in Monday’s Washington Post.

The Washington Post article cites a Government Accountability Office report that said the Department of Homeland Security used a flawed study to select Kansas as the home of the facility. A Texas consortium that had competed for the facility is protesting the decision to locate it in Kansas. Critics point to the possibility of tornados causing accidents involving the highly infectious agents to be studied at the facility.

“Building a new, state of the art facility in Kansas is significantly safer than using the current deteriorating and limited facility. Level four bio-security research on human pathogens is already conducted in several other locations in the continental United States,” said a statement released by the Senators. “The Department of Homeland Security approved locating the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas, after reviewing 18 possible sites over 6 years.”

 “Arguments about tornados are disingenuous. The county in Texas that competed for the lab has more than double the tornado touchdowns than Riley County, Kansas; and Texas is the number one state for tornadoes and number two for hurricanes. Texas politics should not interfere with the ability of the United States to aggressively protect plant and animal health.”

Read the statement.

Read the Washington Post article.

Sources: senatorsambrownback.blogspot.com, Washington Post