January 23, 2009

Deadly Bio-Weaponry Build Up Comes to the Heart of the U.S.

Deadly Bio-Weaponry Build Up Comes to the Heart of the U.S.

(NaturalNews) The powers of the world are in a new arms race far more terrifying in its scope than the race for nuclear weapons. Bio-weaponry and bio-wars are now real threats to the future of the human race. What sounds like the stuff of futuristic science fiction is already a quiet reality. The recent announcement of the new site for the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility brings this reality to light, particularly as this site will house level 4 pathogens, some of which are zoonotic, meaning they can jump the species barrier and infect humans.

The new facility, to be built near Manhattan, Kansas will be classified as Biological Safety Level 4 (BSL-4), a designation that allows for the study of the most deadly, most contagious diseases known, diseases for which there are no cures. It will replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, located 100 miles northeast of New York City in the Long Island Sound, just six miles off the Connecticut coastline and accessible only by ferry or helicopter, a location where prevailing winds blow out to sea. That facility is closing under the rationale that it does not have the security in place for this higher level of usage. Plum Island carries a lesser BSL-3 classification.

Connecticut residents knowledgeable about what goes on at Plum objected to the creation of a new facility where the old one stands, fearing that lethal viruses could escape onto the mainland.

The Department of Agriculture ran the Plum Island lab until 2003, when it was turned over to the Homeland Security Department as part of the nation's biological defense program. The public's perception of the research at Plum Island, created by government public relations releases, has centered on its mandate to protect herds from hoof-and-mouth disease, a highly contagious virus that is deadly to animals. According to government PR, researchers at Plum work on detection of disease, epidemic control strategies, vaccines and drugs, tests of imported animals, and training of professionals.

A large body of evidence suggests there is much more than this going on at Plum. Circumstantial and factual data has presented the likelihood that Plum is responsible for a number of disease outbreaks that have proven to be national public health and agricultural nightmares. Many see Plum Island as responsible for the re-introduction of the hoof-and-mouth disease it now claims to control. Some point to bio-containment mechanisms at Plum that were allowed to deteriorate and remain non-functional for several years, and lax security that allowed accidents to happen. Others suspect more deliberate actions.

While the stated mission of the new site continues to be the control of such animal diseases, the location for the new facility in Kansas places it near 542,507 head of livestock, over three times the amount in the vicinity of other sites that were considered. An outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease could require the destruction of tens of millions of farm animals and devastate the livestock industry.

The diseases being researched at Plum are not necessarily contained in glass viles. There are a number of infected live animals for study there with diseases having incubation periods extending for several days. This means it is very possible for a researcher to be infected on Friday, take the ferry home to Connecticut and spend the weekend spreading the infection before any signs of it are visible in him. The government maintains that there has never been a leak to the mainland, and apparently the first appearance of Lyme disease just 13 miles from the facility falls under the category of coincidence, as does the still unexplained initial U.S. appearance of West Nile virus in Long Island and New York.

Bio-weaponry in the U.S. is nothing new

The development of bio-weapons in the U.S. dates back at least to the 1930's when the U.S. Public Health Service conducted an experiment on 399 black men in the late stages of syphilis, called the Tuskegee Experiment. The experiment was designed to see how long it took for men to die from infection by the syphilis spirochete.

During the 1950s and 60s, bio-warfare attacks took place in many parts of America, the most noted being the six day attack on San Francisco during which potentially harmful bacteria were sprayed over the city. In this attack, reported in the September 17, 1979 Los Angeles Times, twelve people developed pneumonia and one man died.

In 1954, Plum scientists looked for ways to inflict bio-damage on Soviet livestock. According the Cuban government, in the 1960s and 70s bio-weapons developed at Plum were deployed against Cuban agriculture, targeting pork, tobacco and sugar cane.

During the Cold War years, thousands of U.S. citizens were used in radiation experiments conducted by the Atomic Energy Commission and other government agencies.

In 2001 the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) issued a press release admitting it conducted over one hundred tests in which thousands of American servicemen were intentionally dosed with chemical and biological weapons during the period from 1962 to 1973. Dozens of harmful agents like VX, Sarin gas, E-coli bacteria and Bacillus globigii, a cousin to anthrax and bubonic plague, were used on completely unaware and unprotected men. The announcement by the DOD was strategically placed just two days after the mind-numbing 9/11 attacks, at a time when it was given little to no attention by the national media.

Bio-warfare development intensified in the 1970's particularly in the areas of genetic engineering. Much of it was euphemistically referred to as cancer research. During this period cancer causing viruses began to jump from one species of animal to another, a characteristic that signals the viruses are man made. New immunodeficiency diseases were then seen in lab animals.

Although generally regarded as conspiracy theory, some AIDS researchers believe the Special Virus Cancer Program and its connection to bio-warfare development spawned an immunosuppressive virus that was seeded into the gay community via the government sponsored experimental hepatitis B vaccine drive.

The Washington Times, October 19, 1998 reported bio-warfare experiments that took place at Fort Detrick between 1954 and 1973, utilizing volunteers who were exposed to germs causing tularemia, malaria, anthrax, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, encephalitis, and other diseases. Prevention, diagnosis and vaccine development were cited as the reasons for the experiments.

The Los Angeles Times, March 9, 1977, reported other experiments during which the military sprayed bacteria in New York City subways, in a Washington D.C. airport, and on highways in Pennsylvania. Military bases in Virginia, Key West, and off the coasts of Southern California and Hawaii have used live bacteria tests on U.S. civilians.

In 1992, a strike at Plum of union engineers was responsible for a loss of essential support services such as decontamination, waste-water treatment, generator maintenance, and other maintenance and safety-oriented functions. For the duration of the strike, temporary workers were brought in to replace the sentinels and technicians of the infrastructure. The water pressure fell precipitously disabling decontamination facilities and the necropsy rooms where dead animals were examined. In the fifth month of the strike a power failure occurred during which a worker called a Hillary Clinton staffer to complain that the facility was completely out of hand. Without power, the air filtration systems were inoperable, and the decontamination procedures stopped. The seals in the pressurized airlock doors deflated, and workers reportedly tried to seal them with duct tape.

In 1999, the administrator of the Agriculture Research Service persuaded President Clinton to include Plum in his expanded bio-terrorism program based on the possibility of a biological attack on the nation's agricultural base.

In 2001 it was discovered that Plum was involved in an effort to develop vaccine resistant forms of anthrax. Two years later a virologist at St. Louis University announced he was creating a more lethal form of mousepox, a relative of smallpox, and intended to extend his work to cowpox which can infect humans. The problem with research of countermeasures is that they need the lethal measure to go against. Creating deadly bio-weapons to determine how well they can be thwarted gives rise to the potential of more potent plagues. The government's budget for chemical/biological warfare has recently doubled, with $10 billion allocated to bio-weaponry projects.

These incidents are a record of what has become known in spite of all attempts to retain security and secrecy. It is obviously not the full extent of the U.S. government's bio-warfare or bio-weapon testing on its citizens. The full extent of this involvement is hidden in classified documents or is reported to be unavailable.

The increase of new bizarre diseases and organisms raises questions

The appearance in the past several years of AIDS, Legionnaire's disease, hepatitis C, mad cow, hemorrhagic viruses, Lassa fever, chronic fatigue syndrome, Persian Gulf War illness and others have made people question their sources. Older diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and cholera have re-emerged in more virulent forms that are drug resistant. A study published in the January 6, 1999 JAMA reported infectious disease mortality in the U.S. declined during the first eight decades of the 20th century. From 1981 to 1995, there was an increase in infectious disease mortality of fifty-eight percent. The researchers concluded that recent increases emphasize the dynamic nature of infectious diseases and the need for preparedness to address them.

The official list of excuses for this rising mortality rate makes no mention of the infectious material produced for biological warfare purposes. The anthrax mailings following the attacks of 9/11 have been the only wake-up call that has reached many Americans. It raised the level of public fear enough to spark congressional increase in spending on bio-defense, but it quickly faded from the public mind.

About the same time as this funding was increased, the West Nile virus was dismissed by a government report as not being bio-warfare, a move surprising many people given the government's long and documented history of bio-warfare experimentation on its own citizens.

Bio-weaponry is for sale to the highest bidder

Killer microbes have been for sale to any person or country having the buying power. While the U.S. was still friendly with Iraq, the Education Ministry bought 70 shipments of anthrax and other disease-causing organisms from the U.S. Officials here continued to supply Iraq with bio-warfare material during the prelude to the Gulf War according to the September 24, 2002 Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Was the West Nile virus lab created?

People wonder whether the West Nile virus could be the result of animal experimentation and the laboratory manipulation of the African virus. In September, 2002, the media reported that some West Nile patients exhibited signs and symptoms of polio, although that disease is caused by a different virus. They ask if this means the virus has been laboratory altered. West Nile is generally only fatal in the old and the sick, groups being eyed by the government for their use of entitlements.

Fiction often portrays life's greatest truths

The Poison Plum (2006) is a novelized historical treatise of the Lyme disease now sweeping across the U.S. Recorded incidence of this puzzling illness without a cure shows it to be the fastest spreading disease in America today. From the politics of disease to the agenda of the powerful, the book reveals the betrayal of the nation and its people by their own most trusted institutions. It is a dark portent of the pain and suffering to come as Lyme disease and the escalation of bio-warfare continue.

The book is a testimony to the veil of secrecy surrounding Lyme, a veil that took ten years for the author to penetrate before he finally received his own Lyme diagnosis. It is a mesmerizing and powerful tale that speaks of truths that are only palatable when presented in the form of a story. The connections between Lyme and Plum are probed, as well as the involvement of government laboratories in engineering germs for use in biological warfare. Other questions raised involve the possibility of massive government cover-ups to deny the true severity of Lyme disease and the fact that there is no cure, as well as the involvement of insurance companies denying the complexity of the disease to avoid liability for costly long term treatment protocols.


Barbara Minton, Deadly Animal Virus May Soon Come to U.S. Mainland, naturalnews.com.

Patricia Doyle, PhD., Plum Island Lab Moving to Kansas, Goes BSL-4, rense.com.

Alan Cantwell, Jr., M.D., The New West Nile Virus Epidemic: Bioterrorism? Or Mother Nature (Again)? Paranoiamagazine.com.

Patricia Doyle PhD., The Deadly Fools of Plum Island, rense.com.

Poisoned Plum, Primate Freedom, February 3, 2007.

U.S. Uses Bio-Weapons on Their Own People, americasveterans.org.

January 22, 2009

Revisiting the anthrax attacks


Contact: Clare Collins
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Revisiting the anthrax attacks
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 22 – When anthrax was sent through the U.S. Postal Service in 2001, an overwhelming majority of postal workers elected not to be inoculated with the available vaccine because of confusion and distrust, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study. Although the FBI officially closed the case on the attacks this year, lingering suspicion and uncertainty remain, say study authors, which could influence the public's reactions to future emergencies.
According to the report, reactions from postal workers were shaped partially by fears of being experimental "guinea pigs," disagreements among public health agencies about whether the vaccine should be recommended, physician advice, low perceived risk of infection and conflicting reports from national media organizations.
The study was based on interviews and focus groups conducted with 65 postal workers in Trenton, N.J., New York and Washington, and published in the December 2008 issue of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science.
"The reaction of postal workers demonstrates the essential need to build trust and educate the public before the uncertainty, confusion and time pressures of a bioterrorism or pandemic emergency create major barriers for clear communication," said study author, Sandra Quinn, Ph.D., associate dean for Student Affairs and Education and associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health. These concerns may be particularly relevant given that, in October 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services declared anthrax as a continuing bioterrorism threat through the end of 2015, she said.
During the 2001 anthrax attacks, which resulted in five deaths, 10,000 postal workers and others who were suspected or confirmed to have been exposed received a two-month dose of antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) then recommended people who failed to complete the regimen or who were at high risk for exposure take antibiotics for an additional 40 days with or without a supplemental anthrax vaccine. Only 11.5 percent of postal workers who took the additional 40-day dose of antibiotics agreed to take the anthrax vaccine as a precautionary measure.
"Scientific knowledge about the effectiveness of the vaccine after exposure to anthrax was uncertain at the time, making it an almost impossible task to communicate precise and proper health information to postal workers and other affected groups, including Senate staff," said Dr. Quinn. "Given the evolving nature of the crisis, postal workers were unsure whose advice they should trust and as a result, many decided to do without the recommended vaccination," she said.
In 2004, with the passage of legislation to establish Project Bioshield, the federal government created a mechanism for declaring public health emergencies. This authority also allows the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the use of experimental or "off label" drugs to address bioterrorism or public health emergencies. According to Dr. Quinn, communication about the use of these counter measures will present significant challenges for public health authorities in the future.
To address these challenges, she suggests public health experts openly acknowledge disagreements between health agencies, develop partnerships with trusted community agencies and work with media partners to address inaccuracies, misconceptions or other issues that may arise in news reports.
"We need to engage and educate the public before an emergency occurs to prevent unnecessary risk, disease and even death. Only by doing this can individuals make informed decisions about accepting or rejecting counter measures," she said.

January 16, 2009

Litigants Argue U.S. Regulators Lacked Basis to OK Anthrax Vaccine

Global Security Newswire
National Journal Group
Jan. 16, 2009

Litigants Argue U.S. Regulators Lacked Basis to OK Anthrax Vaccine

Friday, Jan. 16, 2009
By Elaine M. Grossman

Global Security Newswire

WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration violated its own regulations three years ago in approving the anthrax vaccine to prevent infection by a "weaponized" form of the disease, attorneys for eight Defense Department employees alleged in a brief filed last week at the U.S. Court of Appeals (see GSN, March 3, 2008).

(Jan. 16) - The anthrax vaccine received approval in late 2005 as a protective measure against inhaled anthrax (Emergent BioSolutions photo).

The Pentagon began a vaccination program for more than 1 million service personnel in 1998, during the Clinton administration, and continued the effort under President George W. Bush. However, compulsory shots were suspended from late 2003 through early 2007, after a federal judge found the Pentagon lacked the legal authority to
compel inoculations for an unapproved use of the vaccine.

Critics have voiced concern that it is unclear how useful anthrax vaccine is in preventing the highly lethal disease from being contracted through inhalation, and have called attention to the possible risks associated with giving the inoculations to a large population.

The U.S. government recently moved to shield itself from liability in distributing the vaccine in the event of a bio-warfare attack, just as a key advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved extending the shots to emergency first-responders nationwide (see GSN, Oct. 17, 2008, and Oct. 23, 2008).

A December 2005 FDA ruling allowed a vaccine previously labeled for use solely in inhibiting anthrax contracted through the skin or the digestive system to also be administered to prevent acquiring the disease via the lungs.

The decision paved the way for the Defense Department to resume mandatory inoculations for service members whose assignments are believed to put them at increased risk of exposure to anthrax during a potential biological attack (see GSN, Sept. 5, 2007).

However, two attorneys who succeeded in temporarily shutting down the mandatory shots program in 2003 remain dissatisfied. They alleged in a second lawsuit, filed in December 2006, that the Food and Drug Administration had not followed its own standards for reviewing a vaccine for approval in issuing its 2005 go-ahead.

The result, they are alleging, is that the vaccine has not been shown to be safe and effective for preventing inhaled anthrax.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer last year ruled against the plaintiffs, saying the court "will not substitute its own judgment when the FDA made no clear error of judgment."

Plaintiff attorneys Mark Zaid and John Michels took their case to federal appeals court, and the 73-page brief filed last week constitutes their written argument.

"There are ... internal inconsistencies in the [FDA-reviewed] record showing that nobody believed this vaccine was adequate for preventing inhalation anthrax until the DOD decided they were going to conduct this mass inoculation, " Michels said in an interview yesterday. "The FDA's failure [in its 2005 action] to explain all of these contradictory statements [in] their own documents is a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act."

The 1946 federal law controls how government agencies draft and issue regulations.

A Defense Department spokesman praised the federal judge's decision.

"We owe it to our service members to give them every possible protection," Bryan Whitman said last year. "Force protection is the No. 1 priority in the Defense Department and the anthrax inoculation program is an important force-protection measure."

In their Jan. 7 brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals, though, Michels and Zaid took issue with the notion that the vaccine has been proven to protect humans from contracting inhaled anthrax.

If the court invalidates the FDA authorization for this use, the Defense Department could be required to obtain informed consent from any personnel receiving the five-shot series (see GSN, Dec. 22, 2008).

In the case, called Rempfer vs. von Eschenbach, the two lawyers are representing Thomas Rempfer and seven other Defense Department personnel ordered to take the vaccines. Defendants are led by FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach and include the health and human services and defense secretaries.

"The regulatory history of the [anthrax vaccine] was nothing if not convoluted and contradictory, " according to the plaintiffs' new court submission. "The main basis" for Collyer's decision to dismiss the case "was the FDA's reliance on a single human test of [the anthrax vaccine] that occurred more than 50 years ago, using an admittedly different vaccine," the complainants stated.

The district court judge's Feb. 29, 2008, decision "ignored the significant disparities" in vaccine testing as well as plaintiff allegations that "undercut" the key medical study's "validity and scientific basis," the brief reads.

"We are alleging," Michels told Global Security Newswire, "the FDA has not done its job."

Agency records show a "significant failure by FDA to follow its own procedures with regard to licensing of the current version of the vaccine using data from a vaccine that was manufactured using different standards, a different anthrax strain, and different methodology, " according to the brief. "The District Court's simple acceptance of the representations made by the government was improper and factually unsupportable. "

An FDA spokeswoman today declined to offer comment on the court case.

Pending a possible extension in due date, the government has 30 days to issue its own written brief for the appeals court. After that, the plaintiffs will have an opportunity to submit their response. The appeals panel may then request to hear oral arguments on the case before issuing its decision.

January 11, 2009

AIG Plasma Donation Program


By becoming a plasma donor for this program, you will help ensure that the country has an adequate supply of a drug called Anthrax Immune Globulin (AIG). Your plasma donation is needed so AIG can be available to potentially protect the safety of Americans in the event of an anthrax attack or exposure.

Regardless of whether or not you have been previously vaccinated against anthrax, you are still eligible to participate in the AIG Plasma Donation Program. At most of our plasma center locations, donors can begin anthrax immunizations or receive a booster vaccination to become eligible for plasma donation. View our Frequently Asked Questions for more detailed information on donor participation requirements or contact your nearby plasma center.

Click here to view our AIG brochure if you have been previously vaccinated against anthrax.

Click here to view our AIG brochure if you have never received an anthrax vaccination.

January 10, 2009

Top Stock Picks ‘09: Emergent BioSolutions (EBS)

Top Stock Picks ‘09: Emergent BioSolutions (EBS)


January 10th, 2009 By Steven Halpern
Filed under: Newsletters, Stocks to Buy, Best Stocks for 2009

This post is part of a special annual report -- Top Stock Picks '09 -- in which TheStockAdvisors.com asked 75 leading newsletter advisors to select their favorite investment for the new year.

"Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE: EBS) -- my top 2009 pick -- makes the only FDA-licensed vaccine for the prevention of anthrax," says Timothy Lutts in his The Cabot Stock of the Month.

"Located in Rockville, Maryland, the company is currently filling a $448 million government order for 18.75 million doses, and in October, the U.S. government contracted to purchase 14.5 million additional doses valued at up to $404 million, to add to the Strategic National Stockpile.

"The vaccine is named BioThrax, and it accounts for 97% of the revenues of Emergent BioSolutions. However, the company has a full pipeline including two 'next generation' anthrax vaccines.

"Also in development are two anthrax therapeutics (immunoglobulin and monoclonal), two botulinum vaccines and a botulinum therapeutic (botulinum is the nasty form of Botox), an oral typhoid vaccine, a next generation tuberculosis vaccine, a hepatitis B immunotherapy and a chlamydia vaccine.

Continue reading Top Stock Picks '09: Emergent BioSolutions (EBS)

Top Stock Picks '09: Emergent BioSolutions (EBS) originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:00:00 EST.