Anthony @ 13:17
British Farming is in deep doo doo…again!
In 1995, some British cows contracted mad cow disease, which, allegedly, can be passed on to humans in the form of CJD, although it is fantastically rare. At the behest of the European Union, an organization we joined when it was a Common Market and before it had morphed into a European super-state and stepping stone, along with North American Union, to the New World Order, cows were slaughtered up and down the country and burnt in huge funeral pyres, and British beef was banned the wide world over. I, and many others, chose to support our farmers by continuing to eat British beef. Scare stories of an epidemic of CJD have yet to come to pass.
Then, six years ago, we had an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. The husband of one of my colleagues is married to a farmer, and I well remember her worries as, during a weekend conference we attended together, she was constantly phoning him to find out whether their farm had been affected. It wasn’t, but they are no longer in farming.
What is especially worrying about the current outbreak is that it may have been caused by a virus from a lab. I’ve posted two articles on the subject, one on the outbreak and its possible source, another on the whole issue of diseases being bred in our labs which is as pertinent to people living in North America as it is to people living here in the UK.
Of course, this is all happening on the other side of the Atlantic, but remember, next time it could be you!
(The picture above, BTW, is of Coke of Norfolk, a wealthy country gent who was a great fan of George Washington and who, along with many other Brits at that time (and since), supported the American Revolution. What a pity that everything the Patriots fought for is being destroyed.)
Cutbacks at Government lab could be responsible for foot and mouth outbreak
Farmers’ fury as the world slaps a ban on food from Britain
Last updated at 11:57am on 6th August 2007
Cutbacks at the research lab at the centre of the foot and mouth outbreak could be responsible for the spread of the disease, it has emerged.
Conservative leader David Cameron has raised questions about the funding of the government laboratory and said farmers had “every right to be angry if they were suffering as a result of mistakes by others”.
According to a 2002 report by the government-funded Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Pirbright complex is in urgent need of investment.“
Some of the laboratories and other areas of the Pirbright estate are not close to the standard expected of a modern biomedical facility and are well below that expected of a facility of such importance,” the report said.
Mr Cameron said: “If it turns out that the virus was released either from the Institute for Animal Health in Pirbright or from the next-door lab at Merial – which, by the way, is inspected and licensed by the Government – it will be astonishing news, because the organisations responsible for stopping things like foot and mouth will effectively be responsible for starting it.“
I think the Government will have some serious questions to answer about the report which came out in 2002 that said the facilities were shabby and not up to standard.”
Mr Cameron added: “Farmers up and down the country are going to be quite angry because they have done masses to improve their own biosecurity and they are all suffering at the moment, apparently because of mistakes made at a laboratory which is meant to stop foot and mouth.”
The timebomb diseases that scientists are breeding in our labs
Last updated at 23:07pm on 5th August 2007
The fact that a biological research laboratory was probably the source of the foot and mouth outbreak is, paradoxically, both hugely reassuring and at first sight very worrying. Reassuring because if the multinational firm Merial Animal Health Labs was responsible for the outbreak, then scientists will know exactly which strain of the virus is responsible and will have a vaccine readily available – indeed, the cause of the outbreak would have been the very foot and mouth vaccines that the scientists are producing in huge quantities.
What’s more, it will be known exactly where the outbreak began, and when.
Thanks to the prompt action by Surrey organic beef farmer Roger Pride (who should receive a medal for his vigilance), the source of the outbreak has been pinpointed immediately, reducing massively the chance of a nationwide epidemic. We might yet avoid a repeat of the terrible scenes of six years ago.
But the news is also worrying because it highlights the fact that huge quantities of viruses and bacteria are held in laboratories all over Britain which we have been led to believe are safe. They include germs which have the potential to cause economic devastation and much worse.
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