Category: Bio Defense


I received an email that started my morning off with a much needed laugh. The tag-line for the article read “What does the recent controversy surrounding the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility project mean for the region?” Well that left the possibilities wide open but what came next is the funny part.

The threats posed by potential foreign animal diseases and zoonotic diseases are simply too great and urgent for the NBAF’s establishment to be unnecessarily delayed by politics. Second, the $700+ billion facility is a textbook example of a project that will provide much-needed economic stimulus for the entire state of Kansas and beyond. The excellent employment opportunities and estimated $3.5 billion economic impact projected from the facility are simply too important to let slip away.

Holy Bat scat, Batman! How’d that do that? Overnight the NBAF grew to a $700 billion dollar facility. Just a couple of days ago Kansas politico Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, told members of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce that “she’s not sure when construction on the $450 million facility will begin because funding for the project was pulled out of a House bill.” shhhh_image

You betcha it has but who cares about the details, certainly not whoever authored this piece of puffery. Even the $3.5 billion has been discredited but it does sound better than $1.5 billion. Looking in from the outside it seems Kansas is more concerned about the economic impact than its… shhhh. 

But really what’s ” a hundred million here and there, pretty soon we’ll be talking about real money”

“Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

H/T Kathy P.

Biodefense Research Could Violate Weapons Conventions, Report Warns

Source: By Martin Matishak | Global Security Newswire

Member states to the Biological Weapons Convention must be careful not to violate their commitments to the pact as they conduct research activities and seek to defend themselves against bioterrorism, according to a think tank report issued this week (see GSN, July 24). 

Image Credit | Associated Press

Image Credit | Associated Press

“There is growing recognition that states parties engaged in biodefense research and development activities must take active steps to ensure their own compliance with the convention and to effectively reassure others of their compliance,” according to the document released Monday by the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation.

The Biological Weapons Convention entered into force in 1975 and today has 162 member nations. The treaty prohibits development, production, stockpiling and use of weaponized disease agents such as anthrax, smallpox or plague, as well as equipment and delivery systems intended for hostile use.

The report is the result of a Feb. 25, 2008, conference aimed at facilitating information sharing and discussion among a small group of governmental and nongovernmental experts about the processes used by various agencies to ensure compliance with the treaty.

Participants examined and summarized in great detail the compliance mechanisms of Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Annual U.S. funding for research and development of medicines and other countermeasures to biological agents has increased from roughly $580 million in fiscal 2001 to more than $3 billion by fiscal 2007, according to the center. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks the government has spent or allocated nearly $50 billion among 11 federal departments and agencies to address the threat of biological weapons

The significant growth of biodefense research and development programs over the last decade, coupled with failure by member states to establish a verification protocol to ensure compliance with the treaty, has placed “new pressure” on the prohibitions contained in the compact, according to the report. It does not specify what activities have put pressure on the treaty.

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Leaked letter reveals concern of neurologists over 25 deaths in America

Source: Daily Mail Online | UK
A warning that the new swine flu jab is linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter.

The letter from the Health Protection Agency, the official body that oversees public health, has been leaked to The Mail on Sunday, leading to demands to know why the information has not been given to the public before the vaccination of millions of people, including children, begins.

It tells the neurologists that they must be alert for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which could be triggered by the vaccine.

GBS attacks the lining of the nerves, causing paralysis and inability to breathe, and can be fatal.

The letter, sent to about 600 neurologists on July 29, is the first sign that there is concern at the highest levels that the vaccine itself could cause serious complications.

It refers to the use of a similar swine flu vaccine in the United States in 1976 when:

  • More people died from the vaccination than from swine flu.
  • 500 cases of GBS were detected.
  •  The vaccine may have increased the risk of contracting GBS by eight times.
  • The vaccine was withdrawn after just ten weeks when the link with GBS became clear.
  • The US Government was forced to pay out millions of dollars to those affected.

Concerns have already been raised that the new vaccine has not been sufficiently tested and that the effects, especially on children, are unknown.

It is being developed by pharmaceutical companies and will be given to about 13million people during the first wave of immunisation, expected to start in October.

Top priority will be given to everyone aged six months to 65 with an underlying health problem, pregnant women and health professionals.

The British Neurological Surveillance Unit (BNSU), part of the British Association of Neurologists, has been asked to monitor closely any cases of GBS as the vaccine is rolled out.

One senior neurologist said last night: ‘I would not have the swine
flu jab because of the GBS risk.’

There are concerns that there could be a repeat of what became known as the ‘1976 debacle’ in the US, where a swine flu vaccine killed 25 people – more than the virus itself.

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Image: NOBIO.ORG

Image: NOBIO.ORG

Updated 7:00 PM EST | The latest GAO report regardng the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility(NBAF) has been released, you can find it here.

The legislative wrangling over intial funding for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) may have hit a brick wall if you believe the latest findings in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) draft report obtained by the Washington Post. This report marks the second time the GAO found “Homeland Security’s risk analysis for the NBAF was not “scientifically defensible”, for any mainland site not just Kansas’ tornado alley.

The NBAF despite what you read in mainstream media, will be the largest BSL 4 AG facility in the world. This sets this facility apart from all other BSL4 facilities now operational including the CDC. Why? The NBAF will conduct research on a wide variety of large animals according to the DHS’s own documents as many as 30,192 animals total. (See pages 329-343 of the Feasibility Study) Conducting research on a 1400+ lbs. animal poses unique challenges not found at any facility currently operational in the US. Moreover, FMD can be carried out of the lab in many ways even in the researchers lungs and it will only take that ONE mistake.

FMDV can be found in all secretions and excretions from acutely infected animals, including expired air, saliva, milk, urine, feces and semen. Pigs, in particular, produce large quantities of aerosolized virus.

 In humans, FMDV may be carried in the nasal passages for a period of time.

Highly contagious animal diseases like foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) are often referred “economic diseases” because of the economic harm they can cause, i.e., Crimson sky. Ironically, Kansas’ own Senator Roberts participated in the government exercise, so he knows first hand what is at stake. Consider England’s FMD outbreak;

 What do we know now? This one mistake cost the UK billions, citizens their lively-hoods and millions of animals were slaughtered, (culled) some animals were infected, others were not infected but, were slaughtered (culled) to stop the spread of the disease, as would be the case surrounding a FMD release from the NBAF. Given the fact that a lab was the known source of the leak (through DNA sequencing, a genetic match of the virus type was made) not a terrorism attack or a natural occurrence of FMD, should this not bring the risk of an accidental release front and center in the debate instead of a justification for such a facility? Citizens deserve accurate information.

There are many other things about the NBAF, DHS didn’t disclose in their site visits; but you can find it in the NBAF Feasibilty Study obtained through a FOIA request.

SCIF Room

The NBAF will have a SCIF room which states for Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility. “There are SCIFs in the U.S. Capitol, where members of the U.S. Congress are briefed on military secrets. In U.S. nuclear labs, computers that store weapons data are housed inside SCIFs. Components of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, such as the new National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) (Click here to view a Power Point Presentation on the NBACC at Fort Detrick, Maryland) have or will have SCIFs.” 

 Why is this in an Ag facility?

The NBAF will house an Insectary

From 2-2 of the DEIS

Supporting laboratory modules to include insectary spaces necessary to support the research. The BSL-2 insectary is for the combined functions of breeding, rearing, manipulating, and holding/incubating of arthropod vectors used in the research programs. Other insectary research spaces within BSL-3E and BSL-3Ag would be used for holding infected live insects or arthropods and for virus transmission studies to and from both infected and non-infected large animals and small animals.

In the event of an accidental release of any infected or contaminated  insects from the insectary, DHS proposes wide spread aerial spraying of pesticides to contain the spread of disease. Are you aware Lyme’s disease and West Nile Virus both originated very near Plum Island Animal Disease Center, the facility the NBAF will replace. See (Table 2.5.1-2, Page 2-42 and Paragraph 3 last sentence page 3-218 of the Draft Enviromental Impact Statement). Read Page D-9 for more.

The NBAF will research Avian Flu and Newcastle Disease

On page 161 of the Feasibility Study under “Program - Detailed Space List”  Avian Influenza has 2 rooms dedicated to it with a total of 1344 square feet, Newcastle disease is also mentioned. It is a NEPA violation to not have these “new” viruses listed as part of the Environmental Impact Study. Remember DHS only list 8 diseases,why were these virues excluded?

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Infectious Diseases Study Site Questioned
Tornado Alley May Not Be Safe, GAO Says

Source: By Carol D. Leonnig | Washington Post Staff Writer
 

The Department of Homeland Security relied on a rushed, flawed study to justify its decision to locate a $700 million research facility for highly infectious pathogens in a tornado-prone section of Kansas, according to a government report.

The department’s analysis was not “scientifically defensible” in concluding that it could safely handle dangerous animal diseases in Kansas — or any other location on the U.S. mainland, according to a Government Accountability Office draft report obtained by The Washington Post. The GAO said DHS greatly underestimated the chance of accidental release and major contamination from such research, which has been conducted only on a remote island off the United States.

DHS staff members tried quietly last week to fend off a public airing of the facility’s risks, agency correspondence shows. Department officials met privately with staff members of a congressional oversight subcommittee to try to convince them that the GAO report was unfair, and to urge them to forgo or postpone a hearing. But the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight and investigations subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), decided otherwise. It plans to hold a hearing Thursday on the risk analysis, according to two sources briefed on the plans.

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60 MINUTES, Sunday Nov 4, 1979

Source: YouTube | LoveHaight.org

Mike Wallace talks to President Ford, Judy Roberts (injured by the 1976 swine flu vaccine, paralyzed similar to Gardasil injury) Dr. David Sencer and others about the Swine Flu vaccine of 1976. Note the admitted lack of safety and informed consent to the public, even as TV ads frightened American citizens into getting a shot. Think anything has changed today?

Opening statement:
MIKE WALLACE: The flu season is upon us. Which type will we worry about this year, and what kind of shots will we be told to take? Remember the swine flu scare of 1976? That was the year the U.S. government told us all that swine flu could turn out to be a killer that could spread across the nation, and Washington decided that every man, woman and
child in the nation should get a shot to prevent a nation-wide outbreak, a pandemic.

Well 46 million of us obediently took the shot, and now 4,000 Americans are claiming damages from Uncle Sam amounting to three and a half billion dollars because of what happened when they took that shot. By far the greatest number of the claims – two thirds of them are for neurological damage, or even death, allegedly triggered by the flu shot.

Part Two

After viewing these segments are you still considering getting vaccined for H1N1 in the Fall? If so please consider this;

Austrian Investigative Journalist Jane Buergermeister (Bürgermeister) who recently filed criminal charges against the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN) and several high-ranking Goverment and corporate officials concerning bioterrorism involving Swine Flu vaccines that could prove to be more deadly than the disease was fired from her job — writing for Renewable Energy World — earlier this week, apparently because she filed those charges, and that is unacceptable. Readers wishing to help her can read more about that on her blog. 

 

Not that I’m trying to scare you. I’m sure that NBAF, when it comes to Manhattan, will be a great asset to K-State and to Kansas in general. There is no reason to panic. In fact, I am intrigued by the notion of possessing a third or fourth arm or a glow-in-the-dark head, just so long as it means getting some extra cash in the university, city and state coffers.

New Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility could bring revenue, but is it worth it?

Source: By Chance York | K-State Collegian

Well, it’s official: The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility will be moving onto the K-State campus. Like many of you folks — especially those who are currently afflicted with hoof-and-mouth disease — I am excited.

Finally, a research facility that will cater to us rubes who can’t stop ingesting the feces of or copulating with our diseased livestock.

Seriously though, I am excited about NBAF — about the money it will bring to the Manhattan area as well as the potential for an extremely hazardous outbreak of highly toxic biological organisms.

Actually, “terrified” would be a better word than “excited” for that last one, but still, there’s a wave of adrenaline coursing through my body. For the past three nights, in fact, I have been lying in bed, wide-eyed, just imagining all the possibilities.

The mere thought of all those NBAF scientists bringing their huge pocketbooks to Manhattan-area businesses has me all giddy.

Just imagine, folks: By day these scientists will be handling rare, noxious diseases, and by night they will be eating at the local Dairy Queen.

One minute they will be handling the deadly Hendra virus, the next minute they will be buying a Barney and Friends lunchbox for their kids at K-Mart. Who cares about the recession now? We’ve got NBAF!

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pharmcorn1

“The way we eat has changed more in the last fifty years than in the previous ten thousand”  Food,Inc.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you had to read something twice for it to sink in because it was that unbelievable? Well prepare yourself for one of those moments courtesy of Sustainable Food’s, Natasha Chart.

She writes:

Obama’s considering appointing a former Monsanto vice president, Mike Taylor, to head the Food Safety Working Group at the FDA.

As Jill Richardson writes at LaVidaLocavore at the link above, Taylor thinks the FDA wastes too much time on food safety inspections at meat packing plants. Further, he believes that one of their main problems is that they have to slow down their line speed too much.

Everyone who’s read anything about the horrendous working conditions at US meatpacking plants knows that incomplete kills before slaughter and worker injuries increase dramatically when line speeds increase.

As also noted at the Ethicurean, Taylor is the reason milk from rBGH/rBST cows doesn’t have to be labeled. Bovine growth hormone is perfectly safe, after all. Except for cows, or humans who drink its breakdown products in milk.

So yes, Mike Taylor is the person we have to thank for putting pus from mastitis-infected cows into the milk supply, and exposing milk-drinking Americans by the millions to greater cancer risks.

This guy is heading up a food safety working group.

I’m just swimming in the changeiness.

It will take more than a “ShamWow” to wipe away the affects of this swim “in the changeiness”. Truth is the consumer,  small farmer, organic farmer and local farmer’s markets have already had their share of “changeiness” since Obama took office. Between proposed legislation that strengthens the corporate industrial food complex’s grip on our food supply, like H.R 2749 & H.R.875 , the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) which threatens traditional rural farming and now Monsanto’sTaylor’s FDA appointment, the only conclusion one can reach is we are in the fight of our lives against industrial agriculture, corporate special interest and the kool-aid sipping status quo.

Fighting the Food Oligarchy

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hazmat_1004

Same strain of influenza was released by accident three decades ago

Source: By Steve Connor| Science Editor |The Independent

It has swept across the world killing at least 300 people and infecting thousands more. Yet the swine flu pandemic might not have happened had it not been for the accidental release of the same strain of influenza virus from a research laboratory in the late 1970s, according to a new study.

Scientists investigating the genetic make-up of flu viruses have concluded there is a high probability that the H1N1 strain of influenza “A” behind the current pandemic might never have been re-introduced into the human population were it not for an accidental leak from a laboratory working on the same strain in 1977.

Yesterday, the Department of Health announced a further surge in the number of cases in Britain with another 1,604 confirmed over the weekend, and the death of a girl in Birmingham with underlying medical complications; the third death in Britain from swine flu-related problems.

Almost 6,000 Britons have now been infected with the influenza “A” (H1N1) strain of swine flu. But two medical researchers believe that this strain of the virus had been extinct in the human population for more than 20 years until it was unwittingly reintroduced by scientists working in a research lab somewhere in the world, leading to a pandemic in 1977 that began in Russia and China.

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Click image for Factsheet)

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Click image for Factsheet)

 

 Tri-Valley Cares (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment), recently obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that  provides conclusive  evidence that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) was preforming illegal, federally restricted experiments involving select agents. In March of 08, the group filed a complaint in Federal court under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to stop operations at the bio-warfare agent research facility located at Livermore’s main site. 

From their Press Release: Livermore Lab Caught Conducting Illegal Restricted Bio-Experiments

Tri-Valley CAREs recently received documents that the group had long been seeking under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding Livermore Lab’s biological agent programs.

The records we received show that Livermore Lab violated federal regulations by conducting “restricted experiments” without the proper approval. These illegal experiments were discovered during an inspection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in August 2005. However, the information was not made public until now.

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