TOPEKA - Members of a committee that wrote a new report critical of a federal safety assessment for a planned biosecurity lab in northeast Kansas say they don't doubt the need for such a facility.
Gregory Baecher is chairman of the National Research Council committee that issued the report Friday. He says members believe the federal government needs a facility like the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility planned for Manhattan. It would research dangerous animal diseases.
The council's report said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's latest safety assessment is technically flawed and underestimates the risks of an accidental release of a dangerous disease.
Baecher said officials need to balance the risks of operating a lab against the risks of not having the research capabilities.