A new report contends that federal officials
have underestimated the risks associated with building a new
biodefense lab in northeast Kansas.
The National Research Council notes in a report released Monday
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has itself estimated
there's a 70 percent chance a pathogen could be released from the
Manhattan lab within 50 years. The DHS estimates such a leak could
cause up to $50 billion in damages.
Homeland Security officials have said the National Bio- and
Agro-Defense Facility will be safe.
But the research council, which is affiliated with the National
Academy of Sciences, disagrees.
Construction of the lab is slated to begin in 2012. It will
research foot-and-mouth and other dangerous animal diseases that
can be passed to humans.