Groundbreaking held for National Bio- and Agro- Defense Facility

Construction on the National Bio- and Agro- Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas, began this week with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson and Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsak in attendance at the groundbreaking.

Set to be completed in 2022, the joint facility will study foreign animals' effects on agriculture and emerging diseases that are transferred to humans.

"The NBAF laboratory will provide the nation with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art lab capabilities and help protect our food supply and the nation’s public health,” Johnson said. “NBAF addresses a serious vulnerability. The economic impact of a bio-agricultural threat – deliberate or natural – could have a substantial effect on the food supply of this nation and have serious human health consequences. We will soon be able to ensure availability of vaccines and other rapid-response capabilities to curb an outbreak. With the NBAF, our nation will have the first Bio Level 4 lab facility of its kind – a state-of-the-art, bio-containment facility for the study of foreign animal and emerging diseases.”

This facility will be close to many animal health companies and will become the primary facility for this kind of research, replacing the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York. The facility will serve research, veterinarian training and vaccine candidate development activity.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Department of Homeland Security 12th St SW Washington, DC 20024

U.S. Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Avenue Southwest Washington, DC 20250

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