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RAW-FOOD  March 2001

RAW-FOOD March 2001

Subject:

Foot and Moth Disease

From:

David Karas <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Raw Food Diet Support List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 12 Mar 2001 23:06:50 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (189 lines)

I received this as a forward. I liked it and decided to post it. I received it
truncated at the end and am sending it as is. I haven't verified it but it has a
ring of truth.


               “Stay away from the countryside….
                   and stay away from the facts!”

      Foot and Mouth - the management of a pseudo-crisis.

            Steven Ransom, Credence Publications

Over this last week, international television and radio news bulletins have
brought world audiences graphic reports of an encroaching pestilence. The
dreaded and highly infectious livestock disease known as ‘foot and mouth’ or FMD
has returned to British shores. The globe is being treated to round the clock
reports on ‘the extent of the FMD nightmare’. Mounds of destroyed cattle,
gruesome pyres burning through the night, ashen-faced reporters delivering the
latest outbreak statistics, people being warned to stay away from the
countryside. “As well as being airborne, the foot and mouth virus can adhere
to car tyres. Do not venture into the countryside, unless absolutely necessary.”
warned the BBC Monday 27th Feb 10 o’clock evening news. The same feature
included reports of international rugby matches being cancelled, a meat shortage
crisis pending, pan shots of once-thriving but now empty cattle markets, lots of
hype, lots of emotion, lots of TV batten-down specials...but, as we shall soon
discover, no actual facts.

In truth, if the events of this last week have taught us anything, it is just
how much we are at the mercy of today’s media. As a result of this barrage of
emotive, inaccurate hype, there are now members of the public who consider it
genuinely irresponsible to hang out a strip of bacon for their garden birds, or
to go for a walk in the country until this crisis is over. Despite the
much-trusted BBC, ITV, CH4 pronouncements, the facts surrounding this ‘crisis’
are very different to what we have so far been told.

Abigail Wood is a vet and researcher into the history of FMD, based at the
University of Manchester in the UK. She remains very down to earth over these
latest  ‘rampaging vicious virus’ reports. Credence Publications contacted her
as a result of her recent UK Times article (1) which began thus: “Foot and mouth
is as serious to animals as a bad cold is to human beings. So why the concern?”
Wood’s research, in conjunction with research carried out by Credence
Publications makes it quite clear that FMD is not the vicious gremlin we have
been led to believe.

So what is FMD?  The current wisdom which we shall be examining a little later,
theorises that FMD is viral in nature. Symptoms of FMD in livestock begin
usually with a temperature, followed within 24 hours by the appearance of
blisters and ulcerations on places such as the tongue, lips, gums, dental pad,
interdigital skin of the feet, bulbs of the heels and milk teats. Occasionally,
ulcerations appear inside the nostrils or on the muzzle or vulva.  Visually,
these ulcerations are the equivalent of large cold sores. The resultant illness
and lameness causes decreased appetite, a drop in milk yield, a drop in
roductivity, and of course, increased care costs. Afflicted animals almost
always recover, usually within a week or two. Death occurs in only 5 percent of
cases. (2) And the meat is fit to eat. (3) For much of the 19th century, FMD was
common right the way across the UK. In fact, it was endemic. But it did not
destroy farming. We lived with it. Our cattle became ill….and then they
recovered. Life continued on as normal. So why today’s scenes of mass
destruction? Quite simply, it is because we are continuing to adhere to some
woefully errant farming policy instituted nearly 50 years ago. Says Wood: “The
instant destruction policy was implemented in the 1950’s by the UK governing
bodies, as a result of growing pressure over the years from pedigree herd
owners, (rather than the more common meat and milk producers) who wished to see
the eradication of FMD. Continued promotion of the slaughter policy by the UK
authorities as the most effective way of dealing with foot and mouth, eventually
persuaded the continent and then the rest of the world to follow suit. We
nstituted the policy, and now we have to live with the results of that policy.”

In those early years, FMD was as much a part of British farming as bad weather,
poor harvests and other afflictions affecting livelihood. But in today’s
intensive farming climate, production and global reputation is everything.
Because of the UK’s continued and, as we shall see,  unfounded insistence that
FMD is highly infectious, and must be eradicated at all costs, one whiff on the
global food markets that UK herds have FMD leads quite naturally to today’s
totally disproportionate scenes. If we are in a pit, then it is a pit of our own
making. And if this latest ‘outbreak’ is to be referred to as a nightmare, then
it is a nightmare brought about by our own political and economic policies. The
early zeal for the perfect pedigree - a disease-free herd -  is this same ideal
not mirrored in today’s genome quest for a disease-free human race? It seems
that the FMD 'instant destruction' policy has its roots fair and square in the
mistaken belief that all illness and disease, even those considered minor
and/or harmless, can eventually be eradicated.

The cows, pigs and sheep dying today are not doing so as a result of any
illness. They are dying entirely at the hands of man. The preliminary report on
this latest FMD ‘outbreak’ submitted by Dr J.M. Scudamore, UK Chief Veterinary
Officer, to the OIE (Office International des Epizooties) tells of 35 cases on
three farms, no deaths occurring anywhere from the actual disease, but 577
animals on those farms nevertheless instantly destroyed. (4) Should we line up
our children because they are coughing?

With the facts to hand regarding FMD, should we not begin to ask some
fundamental questions?  Why can’t our vital farming community, and the public at
large be given the necessary facts, and then more importantly, the opportunity
to question this instant destruction policy? But therein lies the difficulty
folks. “It would be very difficult to change it now.”  Wood told us. ”That would
be to question the perceived wisdom of the last 100 years.” It is entrenched
scientific error, and intractable pride on behalf of the UK agricultural and
governmental bodies, that is the killer in our midst.  A spokesperson from the
diagnostic department  of  Animal Health Trust who wished not to be named,
stated  “The hype is all out of proportion. If the authorities just left the
animals alone to recover from FMD, this would make them healthy, and immune the
next time around.”

Moving on from ‘foot and mouth as common cold’, what’s all this about FMD being
viral in nature, being airborne, and sticking to car tyres and Wellington boots?
Apparently, the FMD virus is quite choosy, being breathed out by pigs, but not
breathed in by cats ordogs. It can be hosted by horses, but to no ill-effect,
and humans too can contract the virus, suffering mild skin irritations. But is
this pattern of disease grounded in reality?  Does it conform to a sensible
pattern of disease? Or are we once again just trusting the wisdom of the day? In
attempting to discover how these agencies arrive at a positive diagnosis of FMD,
and to try and get an explanation for the seemingly illogical nature of FMD
proliferation, some conventional ‘dodging’ techniques began to surface. And
especially when questioned over the possibility of mis-diagnosis.

The blood test used to determine the presence of the FMD virus is known as the
ELISA test or enzyme linked immuno-absorbent assay test. The test delivers the
positive reading by detecting proteins and antibodies in the blood, proteins
and antibodies which are presumed to be there as a result the presence of the
virus. At no time is a virus itself ever detected. No actual photograph exists
anywhere of the FMD virus. Like so many other viruses in the $multi-billion
virus industry, we have only innumerable artists’ impressions to go by. As far
as actual proof is concerned, there isn’t any. We accept the virus model for FMD
(and BSE for that matter) because that’s what we’re told.   But there are good
grounds indeed for questioning the validity of this whole approach to disease
detection. For ELISA comes to us with a very chequered history.

In the realm of human medicine, ELISA is used extensively to detect certain
diseases, particularly HIV.  And this same test is now acknowledged to be
responsible for delivering a very high number of ‘false’ positive HIV diagnoses.
Conventional medical literature lists some 60 different conditions, unrelated to
HIV that can elicit an HIV positive response, including flu! (5) It is conflict
of interests, huge pharmaceutical losses, entrenched error and the threat of
massive litigation that has so far stopped this disastrous story from becoming
more widely known.  Back to the farmyard, and we discover the animal kingdom
is equally susceptible to foreign proteins in the blood and heightened levels of
antibody activity. The stress of confinement alone can produce an immune
response in an animal. Kelly Sapsford, Operations Manager at Harlan Sera Labs, a
serum and antibody manufacturing company told us “Antibodies are not necessarily
specific to one disease. Picture a key that fits a certain lock. The key to that
lock is not necessarily unique. There may well be other locks out there that the
key will fit..”  What minor illnesses are there in the animal kingdom that might
elicit the same immune response to FMD?  And with all these farms being visited
at such lightning speed, what are the protocols being adhered to? Are they being
adhered to? Surely, we are allowed to know these things.

The officials at Pirbright Animal Health Laboratory responsible for managing
this latest ‘crisis’, however think otherwise. No awkward questions are
entertained. Under specific instruction from management, a  Dr Tom Barrett at
Pirbright told us that staff were not allowed to answer any questions, except
through the Medical Director. Numerous telephone calls to MAFF (Ministry of
Agriculture, Food and Fisheries) produced the same negative response, pointing
us only to their website. Repeated attempts to speak to somebody in authority at
Pirbright finally located the Head of Diagnostics, John Anderson. He informed us
that whilst the ELISA tests were manufactured ‘in-house’ “..of course, they were
accurate.”  This same pat answer is what was being delivered by the relevant
authorities as the accounts of HIV misdiagnosis began to surface.

Anderson then  listed the other tests which are used in conjunction with ELISA
to supposedly confirm the presence of the virus. Unfortunately, the confirmatory
tests he mentioned are all equally susceptible to error. And the fact that the
Pirbright FMD tests are manufactured in-house excludes them from that valuable
check and balance system known as peer review. When pressed on these points, Mr
Anderson would not enter into discussion. But then extracting qualifying
information from governmental bodies is never straightforward. Colin King, a
spokesman from an independent veterinary diagnostics company, stated; “The
protocol information and detail you seek will be almost impossible to come by.
In peace time as well as in war, these government agencies won’t really tell you
anything.”

In summarising the current FMD ‘crisis’, this simple extract from Abigail Wood’s
account of the 1920’s Cheshire FMD outbreak is most revealing. Trawled from
Cheshire local newspapers available at the Cheshire Records Office we read
“Ministry teams were so far behind in their slaughtering that on many farms the
cows had recovered before the slaughterers had arrived. Farmers looked at their
now-normal cows in bewilderment and asked  “Was that it? Was that trivial
illness what all the fuss was about?” (6) Until MAFF and other responsible
agencies begin to answer these questions, and until we, the general public cease
to worship so unremittingly at the altar of conventional medical science, this
crisis (as with numerous other iatrogenic, or doctor induced crises) will remain
out of control and on the rampage. For it is in researching  this situation more
carefully, that we realise the only identifiable entities out of control and on
the rampage are our own ignorance of the facts and those official bodies
conducting the current slaughter. The fact that the latest news bulletins are
reporting that 'expert' intervention may now have contained the crisis, must not
lull us into a false sense of security over their expertise. There was nothing
to worry about in the first place. The whole thing has been an absolute dis

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