Darn those GAO bean-counters! Analysts in the Government Accountability Office are questioning the selection process of a site in Kansas for the planned new National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF), which will study some of the most virulent animal and plant diseases known to man. We’re sincerely shocked that someone in Washington has started asking some of the same questions we asked back before Manhattan, Kansas, was chosen for the NBAF site and back before a group of Texans sued over the selection process. (That suit was dismissed earlier this month, as reported at BioRegion News. And take note Texans: Your state gets tornadoes and hurricanes.) We’re shocked because it looks like Republicans and Democrats alike, in Bush and Obama administrations, are shoulder-to-shoulder in backing the Kansas site, despite the potentially dire consequences of a release of a disease like foot-and-mouth into a part of the country that houses millions of livestock.
Stand by for hearings on Thursday about the so-far-unreleased GAO report. Homeland Security officials, who made the selection, disagree. As might be expected, alas, the economic devolopment brigade in Kansas disagrees too. (Kansas City Star and Washington Post)
August 1 Update: the GAO’s full report is available as a PDF on their website.