Re: UK Foot And Mouth Disease Outbreak Near FMD GM Vaccine Research Lab
Please note there is a small error in the piece which has since been corrected on the web page at http://www.nlpwessex.org/docs/fmdlab.htm
Where it said "The paper in fact makes passing reference to the UK outbreak [in 2000],...."
it should have said "The paper in fact makes passing reference to the UK outbreak [in 200*1*],
Since issuing this bulletin there has been the following potentially significant development reported by the BBC:
"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 at the Institute for Animal Health, at Pirbright, about 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 biosecurity has begun at the institute. "
It goes on to say "The strain is not one normally found in animals but is used in vaccine production and in diagnostic laboratories.... The strain was used in a vaccine batch manufactured last month by a private pharmaceutical company Merial Animal Health."
Note that our bulletin of 10 September 2001 potentially identified Merial as possibly working on a 'synthetic' FMD vaccine at Pirbright in collaboration with UBI (United Biomedical, Inc.) of Hauppauge, New York.
And this from Reuters:
"The foot and mouth strain found in Surrey is not one currently known to be recently found in animals," Defra said in a statement.
"It is most similar to strains used in international diagnostic laboratories and in vaccine production," it said, naming the Institute for Animal Health and Merial Animal Health Ltd, which are based at a site called Pirbright, located about 5 miles (8 km) north of the infected farm.
"The present indications are that this strain is a 01 BFS67-like virus, isolated in the 1967 foot and mouth disease outbreak in Great Britain.
"Immediate action is being taken with an investigation led by the Health and Safety Executive at the Institute for Animal Health and Merial."
But is it 01 BFS67, or is it 01 BFS67-like - i.e. engineered?