News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) today introduced a resolution to recognize the importance of biosecurity and agro-defense to America’s national and economic security.

“In Kansas, we are committed to the protection of our state’s leading industry, agriculture. This resolution will remind my colleagues in Washington that addressing critical vulnerabilities to our food supply and agriculture economy must also be their top priority,” Roberts said. “As we consider measures to improve biosecurity and protect plant and animal health, I will work hard with Senator Moran and Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and the rest of the Kansas congressional delegation to ensure that our nation has the best resources to do the job. This includes construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas.”

“After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, it became clear we must protect our nation and its vulnerable food supply,” Senator Moran said. “As we approach the 10 year anniversary of those attacks, I appreciate Senator Roberts’ work in keeping Washington focused on building a modern, safe, world-class research laboratory to protect against bioterrorism. The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to be built in Manhattan, Kansas will serve as our nation’s premier research center to improve and protect our country’s food supply.”

The following is the text of the resolution:

“Whereas following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Nation took notice of the global threat of terrorism;

“Whereas the new reality after the attacks of September 11, 2001, led to an increase of resources focused on combating
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 our Nation;

“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; and

“Whereas the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism assessed in its 2008 report 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”; and

“Whereas the threat of attack from the enemies of the United States continues and there is much remaining work:

“Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that—

“(1) while 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;

“(2) research and investment in biosecurity and biosafety should remain a top priority for Congress;

“(3) providing the resources, both intellectually and materially, for the advancement of vaccines and hopeful eradication of deadly pathogens and emerging zoonotic disease is an integral part of providing homeland defense;

“(4) a laboratory capable of handling such deadly diseases is necessary to meet the demand for such
resources, and such laboratory should be constructed to the highest standards of safety and security, and
should meet the requirements of a biosafety level laboratory;

“(5) without the tools necessary to protect the citizens, agriculture economy, and food supply of the
United States, the United States remains vulnerable to attack and chaos;

“(6) the world depends on the food and fiber that the United States produces;

“(7) the world depends on the leadership of the United States in science and technology;

“(8) the United States must remain the leader in the fight against bioterrorism; and

“(9) biosecurity and agrodefense are achievable goals for the United States in the global war on terrorism.”

Senator Roberts is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. He is honorary Chairman of the Kansas NBAF Task Force. He is an outspoken advocate on the need to improve America’s biosecurity