Faulty Analysis in Ag-Bio Defense Site Selection, GAO Says

Staff Writer

The Department of Homeland Security used a scientifically flawed study to justify its selection of Manhattan, Kansas, as the site for the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, according to an as-yet-unpublished Government Accountability Office (GAO) report obtained by The Washington Post. The report says DHS underestimated the risks of situating the facility—for research on foot and mouth disease and other dreaded illnesses—anywhere on the mainland United States. An earlier report issued by the GAO in May raised similar issues.

The site selection has also been challenged in court by a Texas consortium that accuses DHS of ignoring the hazard posed by tornadoes that sweep through Kansas. The Post says the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee's oversight and investigations subcommittee, chaired by Representative Bart Stupak (D–MI), plans to hold a hearing on Thursday to discuss the risk analysis behind DHS's decision. DHS is hoping to get an appropriation this year to prepare the site for construction.

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