NY lawmaker renews call to halt lab move to Kansas

By FRANK ELTMAN | December 23, 2011 | 11:25 AM EST

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York congressman wants to take the "For Sale" sign off the Plum Island animal disease lab.

In a letter this week, Rep. Timothy Bishop argues it is ludicrous for the federal government to be spending as much as $1 billion to construct a new laboratory in Manhattan, Kan. The lab will study diseases that could devastate the country's livestock industry. Bishop says a "perfectly good" facility already exists off eastern Long Island.

The Long Island Democrat notes that the National Academy of Sciences is again studying the suitability of placing a lab in the so-called "beef belt." A report on that study is due next summer.

Kansas officials, who recently authorized $45.4 million in bonds for construction, counter that there is no reason to turn back.