In response to the Larry Margasak/AP article several post have popped up on the blogosphere, one The government’s foot and mouth insanity by Derek Gilbert caught my interest. In Gilbert’s piece he references a book intitled “Dead Stock” and includes an interview with the writer. “The writer Kate Iola is a rural Iowa business and agriculture writer who, while reporting on foot and mouth disease (FMD), resolved to tell the bizarre yet true story of its threat in the form of fiction”.

Her  book made such an impact on the agricultural community , exposing  the consequences and probablities of a FMD outbreak, that the Kirkwood AgTerror Preparedness Center sponsored a book-signing for her at the International Symposium on Agroterrorism, Westin Crown Center, Kansas City, MO held in September 2006.

Her purpose for writing the book is the certain economic death the US would experience if an outbreak of FMD happened in the US, whether intentional, an accidental release from a biolab or employee contamination. She explains based off her research the US currently enjoys “top tier pricing” of our meat exports because we have not had an outbreak of FMD in the US since 1929. Not only would a FMD outbreak crush the agrobusinesses as we know it nationally,  it would also affect future  international trade, and commodities trading for years if not decades to come, virtually ending the pricing structure our nation’s economy and farmers depend on. Consider for a moment North Carolina enjoys $62 billion annually from “agrobusiness”.

The economic cost to North Carolina alone would be staggering, consider only the intial cost of euthanasia and carcase disposal. In North Carolina an outbreak originating from the proposed NBAF being placed in the Upper Neuse River Basin has it’s own unique issues. Our deer and wildlife populations could become infected rapidly and be a source for the reinfection of livestock. One need only look at a past event such as the Mexican-US campaigh against FMD (1947-1957) to see how close to an outbreak we were. We cannot and should not allow FMD on the mainland of the United States under any circumstances, no matter how many shallow promises we are given.

Here are the Kate Iola interviews I mentioned  on agroterror and the FMD leak fron the UK BioLab. In closing if you are not concerned about the role human error plays into this debate, read the Biosecurity Dos and Don’ts for FMD and then remember Murphy’s Law which states “that if anything can go wrong, it will”.