Report provides recomendations on NBAF (National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility)

The Committee on an Analysis of the Requirements and Alternatives for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory Capabilities; Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources; Board on Life Sciences; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council recently released a pre-publication report entitled, “Meeting Critical Laboratory Needs for Animal Agriculture:  Examination of Three Options”.  The report is available here.  Of the 10 major conclusions reached, the Committee recommends that “The NBAF as currently proposed includes all components of the ideal laboratory infrastructure in a single location and has been designed to meet the current and anticipated future mission needs of DHS, USDA-ARS, and USDA-APHIS; but the proposed facility also has drawbacks”.  The facility would be built in Manhattan, Kansas.  The other two options are scaling back the NBAF plans (for which a re-design would increase costs) or using the current facility at Plum Island Animal Research Center (which is badly aging and unable to meet current needs).  A new NBAF facility has not been funded.  The Committee recognizes “The importance of having a strong national system to recognize and counter the threats posed by FADs and zoonotic diseases”.  Their final conclusion is that since “Concerns considered in this study—costs, necessary capabilities, and infrastructure needs—do not reflect all of the factors decision-makers must consider”, “all factors of concern (including site location, risk assessment, political considerations, adaptability for the future) will need to be considered in a more comprehensive assessment”.



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