Two hearings held on possible biolab

BUTNER The potential site for biohazardous animal disease research could help find cures for dangerous viruses. But opponents say the lab could contaminate their drinking water and possibly lead to hazardous infections.

Homeland Security is considering six sites for a future, high-security lab to study foreign animal diseases -- which could decimate U.S. agriculture.

DHS is now out with an environmental study. It says the risk of contamination from the lab is small.

But protesters stayed firm on their word that they don't want the homeland security lab built in their backyard.

The majority of people in Butner say they do not want the lab there fearing it could kill them.

"I feel this is unneeded, unwarranted, unnecessary facility," protestor Butch Harris said.

The facility that has Harris and his Butner neighbors concerned is the Homeland Security's proposed lab that would test six foreign animal diseases, not yet in the U.S. --and do not yet have a cure for.

"I'm a teacher and a mother and I'm sorry to say that I don't trust my government," on protester said. "It should be entitled the Department of Homeland Insecurity."

"This is high risk facility a risk that we do not want our federal and our state government to take on us," Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss said.

Moss along with the city of Raleigh and Granville County Commissioners have opposed the lab.

Triangle universities and bio-tech leaders support the lab. It promises to bring about 300 jobs.

Proponents say Butner is ideal because it's close to several bio-tech companies in Research Triangle Park, as well Duke, UNC and the vet college at NC State where Philip Carter worked.

"These diseases are a threat not just to the farmer, but to our entire economy and not just in North Carolina, but to the nation," Carter said.

"I was brought up if the people don't want something Uncle Sam shouldn't shove it down our throat," Harris said.

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