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July 27 2009 ~ The Department of Homeland Security "relied on a rushed, flawed study" to move FMD research from Plum Island to Kansas, says the GAO

email received 27 July 2009

  Dear Mary:  
Thanks for posting the Washington Post's report of the scathing GAO study, about   You've known what I thought of this particular site being selected, even before it was announced.  I still have a lot of the preliminary news about that on my old computer.  Our Governor Kathleen Sebelius has proven to be a sheep in wolf's clothing.   She was doing things We the People of Kansas had no idea that she was doing....this project, in particular.

As a Governor of any State, I believe their role is to match the needs and wills of the constituents and taxpayers of their respective States.   Gov. Sebelius has shown that she is interested only in her upward mobility, left the State Office to campaign for Barack O'bama, didn't take care of actually "running" Kansas, and left that office with the State of Kansas in the worst financial situation in history, as she was appointed by Pres. O'Bama to be the new Health Secretary for the entire USA.

Will this GAO report result in changes?    Only time will tell.    At least it's out.    I found the comments made in the article about UK FMD 2001 to raise my eyebrows even more.

"The agency noted that the United Kingdom's outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001, which resulted from an accidental release at a biological research laboratory south of London. Six million sheep, cattle and pigs were slaughtered to stop the contamination, and the country's agriculture market, comparatively a fraction of the U.S. market, lost $4.9 billion."

It just goes to show that when other people's money is going to be spent, it's easy to earmark any figure that anyone wants to be used to "sell" an idea.
In my experience, projects like this one end up costing a lot more than that.

style="LINE-HEIGHT: 19px" class=Apple-style-span>The major flaw about this Biosecurity Lab Plan was that the real livestock producers of Kansas were never given much opportunity to insert their own concerns to the Governor's Task fact, they were purposefully omitted from that group.   Few of those that were on the Governor's Task Force have any idea what an accidental release of any of the viruses could have on our country......mindboggling.


Gary Burkholder
Abilene, Kansas USA