Kansas transparency bill target Manhattan labs at NBAF, K-State

Senate Majority Whip Richard Hilderbrand, R-Baxter Springs, championed a biological laboratory accident transparency bill. He cited fears brought on by the theory that COVID-19 came from a lab leak in Wuhan, China.

Citing fear of the purported COVID-19 lab leak theory, Kansas lawmakers have advanced a bill that would mandate greater public transparency from biosecurity research laboratories.

Supporters specifically cited labs in Manhattan at Kansas State University and the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, arguing that the public has a right to know about accidents. They fear an accident could lead to a disease outbreak or pandemic similar to the coronavirus.

Research officials argue that Senate Bill 441 would create duplicative regulations that offer no tangible benefits while having the potential to harm public trust.

“It felt important, considering what happened in Wuhan,” said Sen. Richard Hilderbrand, R-Baxter Springs. “I know I had received a lot of concerns about the laboratory at K-State, about the transparency and if they would know if something like that would happen here.”






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