April 13, 2008 | Mark Paradies

Is a Safeguard Based on “Modern Rules” as Good as a Natural Safeguard (Distance)

A debate taking place in the agricultural community and on Capital Hill is really about the strength of Safeguards.

A story in the Houston Chronicle explains the debate.

The government is considering moving the Plum Island Animal Disease Center from an Island off the coast of New York, to a facility on the mainland of the United States.

Previous unintentional releases of live foot-and-mouth disease have been contained to the island because of the distance from the mainland.

The government argues that the release happened long ago (1978) and that modern safety rules, policies, and procedures make it safe to move the facility to one of these potential locations:

San Antonio, TX
Manhattan, KS
Athens, GA
Butner, NC
Flora, MS

House Energy and Commerce Committee is considering the administration’s plans to move the facility. The new site could be selected later this year, and the lab would open by 2014.

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