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UK 'foot and mouth' virus outbreak traced back to government lab and US drugs corporation

An outbreak of "foot and mouth" disease in Britain has was caused by a strain of the virus which only exists in a government laboratory three miles away from the first reported case. This strain of the virus does not occur naturally outside the lab and is not found in the wild. The lab is owned by the British government and part of it is run by an American pharmaceutical corporation which profits from the manufacture and sale of "foot and mouth" vaccine.

This is a familiar pattern. In January 2002 a sample of the disease went missing from another government lab, Porton Down, Britain's biological weapons factory which stockpiles the most deadly diseases known to man. Later the same year, the Anthrax used in attacks in the USA was traced directly back to a US military laboratory and the FBI concluded that the attacks could not have taken place without the involvement of a "senior military scientist". (Further information at the end of this page.)

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Foot and mouth link to animal lab

There were growing fears that the outbreak of foot and mouth disease on a farm in Surrey was caused by a leak from a nearby animal research laboratory.

Officials from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the strain of the virus detected in infected cattle was the same as one being used at the Pirbright laboratory a few miles from the infected area.

They could not say definitely that the laboratory was the source of the disease but immediately increased the size of the protection and surveillance zones covering farms in the area.

Defra said the strain was not one recently found in animals but was similar to ones used in diagnostic laboratories and vaccine production.

The strain is present at the Pirbright site's Institute of Animal Health and was used in a vaccine batch manufactured last month, Defra said.

Officials are investigating other possible outbreaks of foot and mouth after the farm in Surrey was found to have infected cattle, said the chief veterinary officer.

Dr Debby Reynolds said a small number or potential cases had been reported in the wake of the discovery on the farm near Guildford, Surrey, some of which had already been found to be negative.

Defra said: "We have voluntarily put a ban in place on all exports out of the UK to any other country. That includes live animals, carcases, meat and milk with immediate effect."

The outbreak raised the spectre of the foot-and-mouth epidemic of 2001, which brought chaos to Britain and left farming and tourist industries devastated.

It led to the slaughter of nearly 10 million animals, ruined many rural businesses and is estimated to have cost the country up to 8.5 billion.


Daily Mail, "Foot and mouth link to animal lab", 4 August 2007.


Daily Mail, "Foot and mouth came from American research centre three miles from farm outbreak", 5 August 2007.
    An American pharmaceutical company appeared to be responsible for the foot and mouth outbreak in Britain.
    Merial, which makes foot-and-mouth vaccines and has a laboratory three miles from the Surrey farm hit by the disease, dramatically agreed to stop production immediately.
    The breakthrough came after Defra experts established that the strain of foot and mouth disease found in cattle at the infected farm at Wanborough is similar to the virus isolated in the 1967 outbreak in Britain.

BBC News, "Foot-and-mouth strain identified", 5 August 2007.
    The strain of foot-and-mouth disease found at a Surrey farm has been identified, Defra has said.
    The strain in infected cattle is identical to that used for vaccines at the Institute for Animal Health at Pirbright, three miles from the farm.
    Defra could not say the laboratory was the source but has increased the size of the protection and surveillance zones covering farms in the area.
    An urgent assessment of bio security has begun at the institute.
    Precautionary measures
    The strain is not one normally found in animals but is used in vaccine production and in diagnostic laboratories.

Daily Mail, "Farmers' fury as the world slaps a ban on food from Britain", 6 August 2007.
    Britain will today be placed in quarantine by the EU, the United States and the rest of the world with a ban on the import of our meat, dairy products and livestock.

Daily Mail, "The timebomb diseases that scientists are breeding in our labs", 5 August 2007.
    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.


BBC News, "Foot-and-mouth phial 'went missing'", 14 January 2002.
    Reports that a phial containing the foot-and-mouth virus went missing from the Porton Down research laboratories have been raised at a public inquiry into the disease.
    Northumberland County Council is hosting the five-day investigation into the spread of the virus and how rural communities were affected.
    Professor Michael Dower, leading the inquiry, said he was still waiting to hear from the government regarding the matter.
    He wrote to rural affairs minister Lord Whitty on January 8 with a list of questions which had arisen from information the inquiry had received locally.
    Professor Dower asked: "What forewarning did the Ministry of Agriculture (Maff) have of a possible foot-and-mouth outbreak prior to the outbreak in February?
    "Several of the written submissions the inquiry received refer to reports of a lost phial of foot-and-mouth virus from Porton Down," he said.
    Professor Dower said there had been reports that the disease was present in the country before it was officially admitted.
    There were also "reports that Maff officials were taking preparatory steps (eg making inquiries of timber merchants, taking part in simulation exercises, printing of `footpath closed' notices etc) before the outbreak of the disease was officially announced."

BBC News, "Anthrax killer 'is US defence insider'", 18 August 2002.
    An FBI forensic linguistics expert believes the US anthrax attacks were carried out by a senior scientist from within America's biological-defence community.
    Professor Don Foster - who helped convict Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and unveiled Joe Klein as the author of the novel Primary Colors - says the evidence points to someone with high-ranking military and intelligence connections.
    Speaking about the investigation for the first time, Prof Foster told the BBC he had identified two suspects who had both worked for the CIA, the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and other classified military operations.

"The Insider" mailing list article, 05 August 2007.

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Tags: Foot and Mouth, disease, virus, lab, government, American, company, corporation, vaccine, , conspiracy theories.

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