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For The Record  

FTR #287 Don’t Put Your Foot In Your Mouth When You Are Talking About Mad Cow Disease, and That’s No Bull!

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1. Speculative in nature, this program explores the recent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and “mad cow disease” (Creutzfeld & Jakob Disease.) Specifically, the broadcast examines the possibility that the advent of one, or both of these diseases might result from biological warfare.

2. The program begins with discussion of EU reaction to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, which has devastated livestock and the meat-producing industries of several countries, notably the United Kingdom. (“Brussels to Probe Disease Outbreak” by Michael Mann and Dan Bilefsky; Financial Times; 4/4/2001; p. 4.)

3. One of the focal points of discussion was the possible source of the outbreak. “The European commission said yesterday it would launch a thorough investigation into the causes of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak which has crippled Britain’s farming industry and spread to three other European Union countries. . . . It would also investigate the feasibility of improving the tracing of livestock movements, whether existing animal transport regulations increase the risk of diseases spreading and whether there is a need to tighten controls on meat imports. The current outbreak is widely thought to have been started by an illegal shipment of meat.” (Idem.)

4. It should be noted that these outbreaks have occurred at a time when Germany has been pushing to revise the EU’s institutions, its agricultural policy, in particular. “To date France has indicated no enthusiasm for change. But last week in the UK, where the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has brought much of the agricultural industry to a standstill, prime minister Tony Blair echoed [German legislator Renate] Kunast’s sentiments. . . . Many observers are convinced the mad cow crisis has triggered a genuine reassessment of farm policy in Berlin. But Mr. Schroder has stopped noticeably short of demanding the re-opening of the long-term farm reform he failed to impose completely in 1999, when Germany held the EU’s rotating presidency. Progress appeared to have been made on the principle of co-financing—under which EU expenditure would have been cut by shifting part of the farm spending burden to member states. But in the end, the then still inexperienced chancellor ran up against the unyielding opposition of France’s President Jacques Chirac at the March 1999 Berlin summit.” (“Germany Signals the European Union Agricultural Policy has to Change” by Haig Simonian; Financial Times; 3/5/2001; p.2.)

5. The foot and mouth outbreak has already exerted a profound effect on British politics. “Tony Blair, British prime minister, has overridden the wishes of his own Labour party by delaying plans for parliamentary elections until June. The decision follows calls for postponement from farmers, opposition politicians, business organizations and church leaders, who say Mr. Blair should give priority to fighting the foot-and-mouth disease epidemic. The number of animals killed or destined for destruction since the outbreak began was yesterday approaching 1m.” (“British elections to Be Postponed in Wake of Foot-and-Mouth crisis” by David White; Financial Times; 4/2/2001; p.16.)

6. The outbreak has also heightened xenophobic tensions in Britain, with the ethnic Chinese community being scapegoated for the epidemic. (“Disease Stirs Ethnic Tensions in Britain’ by Veronique Mistiaen; San Francisco Chronicle; 4/7/2001; p. A10.)

7. “The disaster is having effects far beyond the distraught farmers who must helplessly watch the slaughter of the herds that are their livelihood. The victims now include the country’s Chinese community, the tourism industry and the environment. After reports that the government is investigating the possibility that meat illegally imported from Asia might be the source of the disease, Chinese restaurants across the country have reported a drop in business of as much as 40 percent. The drop has had a huge impact on the 300,000 strong Chinese community, because more than7 70 percent of its members are involved in the catering industry. The suspect meat, destined for a Chinese restaurant, found its way into pig swill at a farm in Northumberland where the outbreak began. Only 1 percent of British pigs are fed swill (food made out of discarded meals from restaurants, hospitals and schools), and Agriculture Minister Nick Brown is expected to ban such feed soon. ‘We certainly have been damaged by these accusations,’ said W.K. Poon, editor of London’s Chinese newspaper Sing Tao. ‘Business is very quiet, and some restaurants have received threatening phone calls.'” (Idem.)

8. This anti-Asian sentiment resonates with the racist philosophy being expressed by many British fascist organizations. Britain (among other EU nations) has begun reconsidering its prohibition of vaccination against foot-and-mouth. (“Britain Rethinks Vaccine” by Alan Cowell [New York Times]; San Francisco Chronicle; 3/28/2001; p. A11.)

9. “As Britain prepared to slaughter hundreds of thousands more healthy sheep that may have been exposed to foot-and-mouth disease, the government indicated yesterday that it might reverse policy to use vaccination against the outbreak.” (Idem.)

10. Among the beneficiaries of the EU’s possible reconsideration of vaccination against foot-and-mouth would be pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the vaccine. “The current outbreak is likely to provide a modest boost to earnings of the three leading makers of the vaccine in Europe: Merial Ltd., a London-based joint venture of Aventis SA and Merck & Co.; Akzo Nobel NV’s Intervet unit in the Netherlands; and Bayer AG of Germany.” (“Outbreak May Boost Profits on Vaccines for Foot-and-Mouth” by James R. Hagerty; Wall Street Journal; 3/28/2001; p. A18.)

11. Aventis (formed from the merger of Rhone-Poulenc with Hoechst) and Bayer are two of the companies that emerged from the former I.G. Farben company, the chemical firm that was at the heart of the Third Reich.) Like Merck, the I.G. companies are deeply involved with the Bormann flight capital organization. The economic and political component of a Third Reich gone underground, created and run by Martin Bormann, the organizational genius who was the “the power behind the throne” in Nazi Germany, the Bormann group is a primary element of the analysis presented in the For the Record programs.

12. Despite, the anti-Chinese hysteria now gripping Britain, the strain of foot-and-mouth spreading through that country is not native to China. “The strain of foot-and-mouth virus plaguing Britain’s farms was first detected in India more than a decade ago. Scientists have been tracking it across the world since then, but are no closer to determining how it got to England. . . . Experts have identified the virus causing the current outbreak in Europe as belonging to the Pan-Asia type zero strain. The subtype ravaging Britain is normally found in the Middle East and South Asia.” (“Foot-and-Mouth Trots Around Globe” by Emma Ross; San Jose Mercury News; 3/30/2001; p. 5A.)

13. China is not in the Middle East, nor is it in South Asia. Iraq is, of course, in the Middle East and a recent U.N. study about the renascent Iraqi development programs for weapons of mass destruction warned of that country’s development of foot-and-mouth virus. (“Missiles, Viruses Still Trouble Experts” by the international staff, Financial Times; 3/2/2001; p. 5.)

14. “Iraq’s research into viruses — including polio, influenza, foot-and-mouth disease, the camelpox virus, infectious hemorrhagic conjunctivitis virus and rotavirus — was also worrying.” (Idem.)

15. Interestingly, and perhaps significantly, the U.S. and Britain launched air strikes against Iraq shortly after George W. Bush became president. The possibility that the foot-and-mouth outbreak might stem from Iraqi biological warfare retaliation for Britain’s role in the strikes is not one that should be too readily cast aside. In that context, several additional facts should be taken into account.

16. One is that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was raised by, and heavily influenced by his pro-Nazi, anti-British uncle. “At ten, he found a mentor in his maternal uncle, Khairallah al-Tulfah, a recently cashiered army officer whose hatred of British colonial rule was matched only by his admiration for Adolf Hitler and his Nazi ideals. . . . He learned to read by the light of an oil lamp and fed his spirit on his uncle’s tales of exploits with pro-German officers in the Iraqi army. Khairallah al-Tulfah had a dream that Arabs would one day be free of foreign occupation and foreign rule. The Germans, Khairallah said, were the only ones who respected the Arabs as equals. The British were just after their oil.” (The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq; by Kenneth Timmerman; copyright 1991 [HC]; by Houghton Mifflin Company; ISBN 0-395-59305-0; p.1.)

17. Khairallah was also deeply involved with the development of the Iraqi biological weapons program, which was known as the “General Directorate of Veterinary Services!” “Saddam Hussein was attracted early on to bacteriological weapons. They were cheap, relatively simple to manufacture, and potentially deadly. . . . On November 2, 1974, [Izzat] al-Douri signed a contract with the Paris-based Institut Merieux, to set up Iraq’s first bacteriological laboratory. The Iraqis explained that they needed to be able to manufacture large quantities of vaccines in order to develop agricultural and animal production. The official Iraqi purchasing agency was called the General Directorate of Veterinary Services.” (Ibid.; p. 20.)

18. “Al Douri’s success won him a promotion and made him a de facto member of the team, the three-man Strategic Planning Committee, along with Saddam, Khairallah, and Adnan Hamdani.” (Ibid.; pp. 20-21.)

19. Germany was also deeply involved with the Iraqi weapons program. “Like most European nations, West Germany was dependent on Gulf oil and had bartered technology for oil with the Arab world and Iran. Thirty-five years after the Holocaust, the West Germans were willing to sell technology that would allow Iraq to manufacture poison gas, ballistic missiles, even nuclear weapons.” (Ibid.; p. 71.)

20. “Saddam’s men would find other partners in West Germany’s chemicals, electronics, and military establishments. Over the next ten years, Germans worked shoulder to shoulder with Iraqi chemists, ballistics engineers, and nuclear scientists to develop one of the most diversified arsenals of unconventional weapons found anywhere in the world. Senator Jesse Helms, whose staff assistants spent months tracking them down, called these companies and their cohorts “Saddam’s Foreign Legion.” (Ibid.; p. 105.) Mad cow disease has (to date) been confined mostly to the United Kingdom. That may be beginning to change. A recent discovery of a related illness in sheep in Vermont may presage an American outbreak of the disease.

21. “Federal officials on Wednesday seized a Vermont farmer’s flock of sheep over suspicions that some of the animals may be infected with mad cow disease and could pose a threat to livestock nationwide. It was the first time that the U.S. government has confiscated livestock as a precaution against mad cow disease. . . . it will take at least two years—and possibly much longer—before pathologists can determine for sure whether the animals harbor mad cow disease or a related illness, scrapie, that is relatively common in sheep and cannot be transmitted to humans.” (“U.S. Confiscates Sheep Suspected of Carrying Mad Cow Disease” by Stephanie Simon; Los Angeles Times; 3/22/2001; p. A7.)

22. Mad cow disease is believed to result from nervous system tissue from scrapie-infected sheep being fed to cows. Scrapie, in turn has also been studied by elements associated with the creation of biological weapons, including the National Cancer Institute.

23. “Alternatively, ‘slow’ viruses were of the greatest interest to WHO, CDC, NIH, and NCI scientists between 1968 and 1974. The reasons for this were not as obvious. The WHO Chronicle reported: ‘Recent interest in the slow viruses, in particular those causing chronic degenerative disease of the nervous system—the CHINA (chronic infectious neuropathic agents) viruses—has come from painstaking work with visna and scrapie, degenerative diseases of the central nervous system of sheep. . . .CHINA viruses are distinguished by the languishing character of the infection process they initiate. The incubation period in the host may be months or years, and the disease itself may progress laggardly towards an irreversible deterioration of the victim. . . . The resistance of the scrapie agent to heat, ether, formalin, and other enzymatic and chemical agents, as well as its very small particle size, poses the question whether it is a conventional virus, an incomplete virus, or some other agent. . . . the findings of different [research] groups are at variance and in several instances are totally inexplicable within our present concept of infectious agents.'” (Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola—Nature, Accident or Intentional?; by Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz; Copyright 1996 [HC] by Tetrahedron Inc.; ISBN 0-923550-12-7; pp. 16-17.)

24. Mad cow may have finally made its entrance into the United States. “Two patients have died at a Colorado hospital this year from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an illness similar to mad cow disease, and there is concern other patients may have been exposed, a hospital spokeswoman said Friday.” (“2 Colorado Deaths Are Likened to Mad Cow” Associated Press; Los Angeles Times; 3/24/2001; p. A7.)

25. In determining whether mad cow could be the result of biological warfare, it is interesting to note that genetic differences may account for the epidemiological characteristics of the disease in Britain. This suggests at least the possibility of genetic engineering in connection with the disease. “Scientists have confirmed that cases of the human form of mad cow disease in the North are running at double the rate in the South. . . . The researchers found it was twice as common in the North of England and Scotland, but were at a loss to explain the difference after finding no clear link with regional differences in eating habits. . . .’We also need to keep an open mind about other factors unrelated to diet. . . . these could include the genetic background of victims. All those who developed the disease had a specific genetic make-up and it could be that people in the North are more genetically susceptible than in other places.'” (“Puzzled Scientists Try to Explain Regional Variation in Figures” by Mike Waites; Yorkshire Post; 3/30/2001.)

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