Homeland Security Accused of Disregarding Experts in Biolab Bidding

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Homeland Security Department swept aside
evaluations of government experts and named Mississippi as a top
possible location for a new $451 million national laboratory.

That's according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Manhattan, Kansas, is also in the running to house the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility lab, where scientists will study some of the world's most virulent biological threats.

The states where locations were eliminated despite earning scores higher than Mississippi include Missouri, California, Georgia, Maryland, Texas and Wisconsin.

But some said they were unaware of the Homeland Security evaluation system that scored the Mississippi site so low and that the selection decisions were based on other factors.

For example, Columbia, Mo., scored higher than Flora, Mississippi, but homeland security rejected it over ``growing negative community feedback.''

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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