News of the WeekBiosecurity

Faulty Risk Analysis Puts Biofacility Plan in Jeopardy

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Science  07 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5941, pp. 661
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_661

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Ever since the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to replace the aging Plum Island Animal Disease Center with a mainland facility 4 years ago, the proposal has been attacked by environmental groups and lawmakers worried about the risk to livestock of an accidental release of deadly pathogens like the foot-and-mouth virus. Now, as DHS prepares to build the $450 million National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas, it has run into its stiffest challenge yet: a damning report from the Government Accountability Office that accuses DHS of relying on a flawed risk analysis to push the project through.