evaluated the adequacy and validity of an updated DHS site-specific risk assessment of the NBAF in Manhattan, Kansas. That committee concluded that the updated risk assessment was “technically inadequate in critical respects” and that it remains “an insufficient basis on which to judge the risks associated with the proposed NBAF in Manhattan, Kansas” (NRC, 2012). In providing an analysis of the three proposed options in this report, it is beyond the scope of this committee’s task to discuss or provide judgment on whether foot-and-mouth disease research can be safely conducted on the mainland or where such research should take place.

The committee examined general design specifications as related to the research and diagnostic capabilities of the NBAF as currently proposed. The committee was asked to examine the NBAF as currently designed and to examine a scaled-back alternative, but it was beyond the committee’s task to conduct a detailed building design review or cost analysis.


The report is composed of five chapters. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the threats posed by infectious diseases to US agriculture and human health. Chapter 3 describes an ideal system for addressing FADs and zoonotic diseases, the role of a central laboratory facility (such as an NBAF-type of laboratory) in a national system, and current capacity and capabilities and future needs for addressing FADs and zoonotic diseases in the United States. Chapter 4 analyzes the proposed options and discusses whether they provide the necessary infrastructure for effectively protecting animal health, public health, and food security against FAD and zoonotic disease threats in the United States. The committee elaborates on its conclusions and recommendation in Chapter 5.


DHS (US Department of Homeland Security). 2012. NBAF Updated Site-Specific Biosafety and Biosecurity Mitigation Risk Assessment. Final Report, Vol. 1, February 2012 [online]. Available: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/st/nbaf_updated_ssra_volume_i.pdf (accessed May 30, 2012).

GAO (US Government Accountability Office). 2008. High-Containment Biosafety Laboratories: DHS lacks evidence to conclude that foot-and-mouth disease research can be done safely on the U.S. mainland. Washington, DC: GAO [online]. Available: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-821T (accessed May 14, 2012).

GAO. 2009. Observations on DHS’s Analyses Concerning Whether FMD Research Can Be Done as Safely on the Mainland as on Plum Island. Washington, DC: GAO [online]. Available: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-747 (accessed May 14, 2012).

IOM (Institute of Medicine) and NRC (National Research Council). 2009. Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases. G.T. Keusch, M. Pappaioanou, M.C. Gonzalez, K.A. Scott, and P. Tsai, eds. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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