WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., introduced a bipartisan bill to affirm the mission of the National Bio and Agro-Defense facility (NBAF) to provide defense of U.S. food and agriculture.
“In order for NBAF to be successful, it must be recognized as a critical piece of the national security effort to defend against bio- and agro-terrorism threats, and this bill will help ensure just that,” said Roberts. “I have seen firsthand the capabilities of foreign countries to produce devastating biological weapons, and I’m proud to say that NBAF will serve as the first line of defense to protect American agriculture and the world’s food supply.”
“Our national security depends on having a safe and reliable food supply,” said Stabenow. “The bill will ensure that this cutting-edge facility is a critical part of our national bio-defense strategy to protect consumers and our agricultural economy.”
NBAF was created as a national security laboratory asset that will serve as a biosafety level 4 animal health research and development facility for the defense against bio-and agro-terrorism threats. This bill directs NBAF to carry out the relevant objectives of the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 9 and the National Biodefense Strategy, both aimed at securing our nation’s food and agriculture.
The bill also outlines the national security mission of the facility and the duties of the agencies responsible for implementing that mission, including research, training, and coordination efforts related to animal health, veterinary countermeasure development, emerging foreign animal disease threats, and threat detection.
Click here to read the legislation.
–U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
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