WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senators representing the Kansas City Animal Health corridor, Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) announced that late last night, the Senate approved a resolution to recognize the importance of biosecurity and agro-defense to America’s national and economic security.
“The hardworking folks in America’s heartland understand that the protection of our region’s leading industry, agriculture, and of our nation’s food supply is of the highest importance,” Roberts said.
“This resolution reminds our colleagues in Washington that addressing the critical vulnerabilities to our food supply and the agriculture economy must also be their top priority. Completion of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) is critical to the nation and to our states.”
“NBAF will protect our national economy by researching foreign animal disease threats, which have very real impacts,” Moran said. “It is critical that construction begins immediately to safeguard against these threats and the devastation they would cause.
The cost of an outbreak far outweighs the cost of construction, not only in the loss of human life but also its damage to the animal and agricultural industry. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue working to make certain NBAF remains a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security, the Administration and among Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle.”
“This resolution recognizes just how important biosecurity is to our country’s safety, and to the agriculture economy across the United States,” McCaskill said. “Strengthening our biosecurity starts with the completion of the facility in Manhattan, Kansas and continues with the further development of the Animal Health Corridor in the Kansas City region.
I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to ensure we accomplish these goals.”“Further development of the Animal Health Corridor in the Kansas City region is the next step in bolstering our nation’s biosecurity and agro-defense,” said Blunt.
“Farm families in Missouri and nationwide understand the severity that these devastating attacks could have on our food supply, the agriculture industry, and our national security. I’m pleased this resolution was approved by the Senate, and I will continue to advocate for further development of the Animal Health Corridor as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.”
Text of the Resolution:
Recognizing the importance of biosecurity and agrodefense in the United StatesWhereas following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States took notice of the global threat of terrorism;
Whereas the new reality after the attacks of September 11, 2011, led to an increase of resources focused on combatting attack from the enemies of the United States;
Whereas Congress established the Department of Homeland Security in 2002 with the intent of meeting the challenges plaguing the United States;
Whereas the attacks made visible the vulnerability of our food supply and agriculture economy;
Whereas the President of the United States issued a Homeland Security Directive entitled the “Defense of United States Agriculture and Food” on January 30, 2004;
Whereas the Department of Homeland Security, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, recognized the challenges of agroterrorism early on;
Whereas the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism assessed in the 2008 report entitled “World At Risk”, “the U.S. government has invested most of its nonproliferation efforts and diplomatic capital in preventing nuclear terrorism.
The Commission believes that it should make the more likely threat – bioterrorism – a higher priority. Only by elevating the priority of the biological weapons threat will it be possible to bring about substantial improvements in global biosecurity”;
Whereas the threat of attack from the enemies of the United States continues and there is much remaining work; andWhereas the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility inaugurated construction on May 28, 2013;
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate thatWhile the United States continues to combat terrorism in all forms around the world, the safety, security, and health of our livestock and agriculture commodities must not be forgotten;
Research and investment in biosecurity and biosafety should be supported by Congress;Providing the resources, both intellectually and materially, for the advancement of vaccines and hopeful eradication of deadly pathogens and emerging zoonotic disease in an integral part of providing homeland defense;
Without the tools necessary to protect the people, agriculture economy, and food supply of the United States, the United States remains vulnerable to attack and chaos;
The world depends on the food and fiber that the United States produces;
The world depends on the leadership of the United States in science and technology;
The United States must remain the leader in the fight against bioterrorism; andBiosecurity and agrodefense are achievable goals for the United States in the global war on terrorism.