Tags: US | Biodefense | Lab

Report Questions Safety of Planned Biodefense Lab

Monday, 15 Nov 2010 02:58 PM

 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new report contends that federal officials have underestimated the risks associated with building a new lab in northeast Kansas that will study dangerous animal diseases that can be passed to humans.

The National Research Council questions the decision to place the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, a college town in the heart of cattle country.

The DHS says the lab will be safe.

But the research council notes in its report released Monday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security itself estimates there is about a 2 percent chance each year that a pathogen could be released.

The research council calculates that based on DHS figures, there is a 70 percent chance a leaked pathogen could cause an infection within the next 50 years.

(This version corrects that the DHS estimates there is about a 2 percent chance each year that a pathogen could be released, not about a 1 percent chance.)

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