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Tip Sheet: Kansas Responds to Congressional Hearing on Animal Disease Research

Friday, May 23, 2008 General News J E 4
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MANHATTAN, Kan., May 22 The topic of today's congressional subcommittee hearing on animal-disease research on the U.S. mainland has particular importance to Kansas and should serve several purposes:



* Underscore the critical importance of modernizing America's research capability to combat the real and present threat of diseases that could harm the U.S. food supply and agriculture economy.



* Demonstrate the urgency of addressing foreign-animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, and animal diseases that can infect humans, such as avian flu. The U.S. must upgrade its research facilities with a lab that can effectively develop drugs, vaccines and other countermeasures to protect the American public and food supply.



* Highlight the urgent need to replace the 1950s-era Plum Island Animal Disease Center with a safe, advanced laboratory that has adequate space, security, equipment and infrastructure to attain modern research standards.



* Provide facts about modern laboratory technology, which is highly secure and has kept tens of millions of people safe for decades in places where the most dangerous human diseases are studied, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.



* Underscore the importance of building the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in a location that understands the mission, where there is a rich concentration of animal-health research expertise and resources, and where the greatest results can be achieved most quickly to protect America's food supply.



Journalists with questions about modern laboratory safety, the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or today's hearing of the oversight and investigations subcommittee are invited to contact the following K-State/Kansas bioscience experts: Ron Trewyn, K-State vice president for research, 785-532-5110 or trewyn@k-state.edu; Jerry Jaax, K-State associate vice president for research compliance and university veterinarian, 785-532-3233 or jaax@k-state.edu; and Tom Thornton, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Bioscience Authority, 913-375-5139 or thornton@kansasbioauthority.org.



More information also is available at http://www.k-state.edu/media/nbaf or http://www.nbafinkansas.org



CONTACT: Ron Trewyn, +1-785-532-5110, trewyn@k-state.edu, Jerry Jaax, +1-785-532-3233, jaax@k-state.edu, both of Kansas State University; or Tom Thornton of the Kansas Bioscience Authority, +1-913-375-5139, thornton@kansasbioauthority.org



SOURCE Kansas State University
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