Foot and Mouth

Did you keep up with the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) crisis in Britain in 2001? Did you know that 4,206,000 animals (583,000 cattle, 3,474,000 sheep, 145,000 pigs, 3,000 goats, 1,000 deer, and 1,000 other animals) were slaughtered? Did you know that the vast majority of these slaughtered animals did not have FMD and were perfectly healthy? Did you know that FMD is rarely fatal and that animals usually fully recover within 2 – 3 weeks? Did you know that there is a vaccination against FMD? If this weren’t so tragic it’d be funny.

Two good sites that collect news and information on FMD — not to mention “Mad Cow” disease, vCJD, genetically-modified (GM) foods, etc. — are www.OrganicConsumers.org and www.mad-cow.org — the second one is run by a molecular biologist in the Pacific Northwest and we like his occasional pithy comments that he interjects in some of his articles, though, unfortunately it is not being kept up to date. As you peruse these sites you most likely experience a powerful cocktail of emotions: scepticism, sorrow, disbelief, rage, and disgust, to name just a few. A few interesting articles from these and other sites:

And, from the “It couldn’t happen here, could it?” files:

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