Wake up, people! I am scared. I just read a letter to our congressman regarding the proposed National Bio and Agro Defense Facility that may be coming to southern Granville County, only a few miles from Treyburn, Bahama and northern Durham County ("Biotech or biohazard?" July 25 and "The battle against the bio-lab," Oct. 10, by Lisa Sorg). The letter was from the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, written on behalf of the concerned citizens who have voiced their opinion against the NBAF to Rep. David Price.
The Department of Energy attempted to place this facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. These two facilities are weapons research laboratories. Why would an agricultural research lab need to be placed at centers for weapons research? Why would this lab want to study diseases that are zoonotic and be near weapons research? The attempts were thwarted by local outcry.
The Department of Homeland Security decided to make a "reality show" out of its plight and offer states the opportunity to create consortiums to compete for the NBAF.
That decision made its job easier. DHS put its task on the locals, with promises of large amounts of money for research at local universities and colleges. Of the original 18 sites proposed by consortiums, public opposition eliminated 13 of them.
Citizens from Granville and surrounding counties are puzzled why an agro facility should be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. On Sept. 18, DHS representatives had no answers for some of the questions presented to them. I have asked the town of Butner to call for a second public hearing with only the Department of Homeland Security to answer our questions.
Please visit www.nobio.org. Why did 13 other communities not want the lab? Why did 23,000 nurses and doctors speak out against a similar lab in Boston? Why?
Granville Nonviolent Action Team