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Kansas responds to Texas threat of NBAF lawsuit

America needs the best research, not litigation, to protect the food supply

In response to news reports of potential legal action by the Texas Biological and Agro-Defense Consortium regarding the site selection process for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, Kansas Bioscience Authority president Tom Thornton issued the following statement:

"After an exhaustive, three-year process that ended with a unanimous decision by experts in the field, the federal government chose Kansas as the best home on the merits for a new research facility to protect the American food supply and agriculture economy. Throughout the review, Kansas was noted for its internationally recognized animal health research expertise, state-of-the-art research infrastructure, and the world's largest concentration of animal health companies--all of which will significantly accelerate the NBAF research and commercialization mission.

"When it comes to the critically urgent work of protecting America's food supply, Kansas offers a solution, not a site, and the Department of Homeland Security deserves commendation, not litigation, for the extremely comprehensive and fair process it undertook to ensure the success of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. Only Kansas offers a credible pathway to jumpstart the NBAF's critical mission."

Background on the site selection process

In March 2006, the Heartland BioAgro Consortium and 28 other interested organizations submitted expressions of interest to DHS. In August 2006, DHS reduced the list to 18 sites in 11 states for the next phase of the competitive process. In July 2007, DHS reduced the list to five sites in five states, including Kansas, and began preparing the environmental impact statement, which is an extremely thorough review of the site locations.

The final EIS, issued in December 2008, was prepared following the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and recommended Kansas as the preferred NBAF location. The record of decision documenting DHS' final decision to build the NBAF in Kansas was signed on Jan. 12, and published in the Federal Register on Jan. 16.

The project was reviewed by the Obama Administration, and the decision to locate the NBAF in Kansas on the merits was affirmed by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano during her visit to Kansas State University in February.

Once built, the NBAF will serve as the nation's premier research facility for developing vaccines and countermeasures for diseases that threaten livestock and other animals, which agricultural and bioterrorism experts consider an urgent national priority.

For more information, please see: www.k-state.edu/media/nbaf and www.nbafinkansas.org.

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