The National Bio and Agro defence facility (NBAF) would be the first US lab able to research diseases like foot and mouth in large animals. But reviews have raised worries about virus escapes in the middle of cattle country.
The new national facility would be able to carry out research on animal diseases that had the potential to not only cripple US agriculture but that could be turned into biological weapons as well.
After carrying out an exhaustive search for an alternative, the Department selected Manhattan, Kansas as its preferred location.
But although the decision was made to go ahead with the project in 2008, little has happened in the intervening years.
Kansas rancher Stephen Anderson has little faith that technology alone will prevent a release of the virus if the lab is built. "These guys who get up there and say technology is so good today it's always going to be safe, they don't know any more about technology than a tomcat knows about baking gingerbread""
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