Swine Flu:From Pigs Or Out-of-Control Scientists? (continued)
by ALAN CANTWELL, JR. MD
000); and Mexico (23,500).
On April 29, Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, who had previously accused Western governments of making and spreading viruses to boost pharmaceutical profits, said: "I'm not sure whether the virus was genetically engineered but it's a possibility."
Two weeks later, in a Bloomberg Report, 75-year old Adrian Gibbs, an Australian evolutionary virologist with impeccable academic credentials, shocked the scientific world by suggesting the new strain of swine flu accidentally evolved in eggs used to grow viruses for vaccines. Gibbs came to this conclusion by analyzing the genetic blueprint of the virus. Not surprisingly, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) and the CDC were quick to note there was no evidence for this assertion.
One blogger answering the question: "Is the Swine Flu a virus created by 'the government?" wrote: "The number one thing that we all should strive to do is refrain from being suckered into conspiracy theories. Such reactions do not help the situation and may even impede the government from being able to respond properly. It's very easy to fall prey to a conspiracy theory, especially if that theory is appealing to our personal beliefs. It's even easier to fall prey to the pseudo-logic that conspiracy theorists commonly use, just as it's easy for us to want to blame the government for things. Whether the U.S. Government, or any government or group, concocted this virus and were responsible for it getting out in the wild (whether on purpose or by accident) isn't really the important issue right now. The important issue lies in handling the situation properly and trying to stop the outbreak before it gets worse if we can. We need to treat the situation seriously, yet avoid panicking and doing things that may make things worse.
Emerging Viruses: Accident of Nature or Man-Made Creations?
In the early 1970s doctors believed that many infectious diseases had been banished from the industrialized world. But, remarkably, over the last three decades more than 30 new "emerging diseases" have appeared in various places. Some of the better-known diseases include AIDS, SARS, Legionnaire's disease, toxic shock syndrome, Lyme disease, hepatitis C, mad cow disease, hanta virus, various new encephalitis and hemorrhagic viruses, Lassa fever, West Nile virus, and Ebola virus. Controversial diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome and Gulf War Illness are not included in the U.S. government's list of emerging diseases. In addition, older diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and cholera, have re-emerged in more virulent and drug-resistant forms.
Could this outbreak of a new swine flu virus be some sort of covert biologic "test" (like the anthrax mailings in 2001) to wake people up to the dangers of bioterrorism? Are all these new emerging diseases and emerging viruses merely continuing (and unprecedented) cruel acts of Mother Nature? Or could "the hand of man" in the form of genetic engineers and/or biological warfare terrorists be involved in these new outbreaks? Is it just a coincidence that all these weird bugs and illnesses have erupted in the past three decades? Or is all this just "paranoid" thinking?
Health officials have never implicated the biological warfare establishments of any country for any of these new diseases. Instead, the blame has been placed on increased global travel and globalization, population growth and movements, deforestation and reforestation programs, human sexuality (in the case of HIV), and increased human contact with tropical mini-forests and other wilderness habitats that are reservoirs for insects and animals that harbor unknown infectious agents.
Several days later after the epidemic was detected in Mexico, health officials declared that "Patient Zero" was a 5 year-old boy from La Gloria, a small town in the State of Veracruz, four hours away from Mexico City. By the end of the week, other officials uncovered that earlier proven cases had occurred in the border area between California and Mexico, thus raising speculation that the disease originated in the U.S. Although there was no indication the pandemic was caused by pigs, many people were fearful of eating pork, and pork farmers were facing financial ruin.
Even since AIDS, epidemiologists tend to routinely blame many emerging diseases on animals and the transfer of their viruses to humans via "species jumping." Scientists never mention the fact that for many decades millions of animals and innumerable vials of infectious animal tissue material have been shipped around the world for commercial and biological warfare purposes.
This world trade in deadly agents, coupled with the advanced gene-splicing technology and species-jumping experiments beginning in the 1970s, has paralleled the increase in emerging diseases. In countless laboratories around the world many newly engineered viruses have been seeded into various species of animals. Some of these viruses have been adapted to human tissue. The biological warfare implications of all these scientific "advances" have led some conspiracy-minded people to suspect out-of-control scientists as the source of one or more outbreaks of these newly emerging diseases.
Secret biowarfare experimentation on human populations
It is surprising that Homeland Security and the CDC immediately eliminated bioterrorism as a possible source of the new swine flu pandemic, particularly when the government has a long and well-documented history of biowarfare experimentation using unsuspecting citizens.
During the 1950s and 60s secret military biowarfare attacks took place in many parts of America. The most notorious was a six-day attack on San Francisco in which clouds of potentially harmful bacteria were sprayed over the city. Twelve people developed pneumonia due to the infectious bacteria, and one elderly man died from the attack. This attack was not revealed to the public until years later when classified documents were finally released. In other classified experiments, the military sprayed bacteria in New York City subways, in a Washington D.C. airport, and on highways in Pennsylvania. Biowarfare testing also took place in military bases in Virginia, in Key West (Florida), and off the coasts of Southern California and Hawaii.
The Army also experimented on its own soldiers. Secret biowarfare experiments were performed at Fort Detrick between 1954 and 1973, exposing 2,300 Seventh-Day Adventist volunteers to germs causing tularemia, malaria, anthrax, Queensland fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, encephalitis, and a host of other exotic diseases. The experiments were aimed at preventing, diagnosing, and treating these diseases, as well as the development of vaccines. No one died in the experiments, but critics contend that the men were essentially coerced into participating in research that, despite military assurances to the contrary, could have been used to produce biowarfare weapons.
During the Cold War years following World War II, thousands of U.S. citizens were used as unsuspecting guinea pigs in over 4,000 secret and classified radiation experiments conducted by the Atomic Energy Commission and other agencies, such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the Public Health Service (now the CDC), the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration, the CIA and NASA.
Not only is the public kept ignorant of biowarfare research, but biowarfare "accidents" are officially covered-up, downplayed, or simply blamed on animals. For example, the Russians finally revealed the truth about an epidemic of anthrax that caused at least 68 deaths in 1979 in the city of Sverdlovsk, 850 miles east of Moscow. The outbreak was officially blamed on eating meat from infected animals. Officials at the nearby top-secret biowarfare compound maintained that the anthrax spores were spread among cattle through ingestions of contaminated bone meal, and that the people who got anthrax acquired it through the illegal sale of diseased cattle from private farms. In 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin finally acknowledged the real truth. The cause was not "natural," but due to the accidental escape of spores of weapons-grade anthrax produced by the nearby biowarfare installation.
The full extent of the U.S. government's experiments on unsuspecting people will probably never be known because many documents remain Top Secret or classified. Other documents are often declared as missing, destroyed, or "unavailable," in an attempt to hide the truth from the public.
Genetic engineering and species transfer of new killer viruses
As the 1970s began, the U.S. Army's biowarfare program intensified, particularly in the area of genetic engineering research. This genetic manipulation of cells and infectious agents, and the mixing and transferring of viruses between various animals (including monkeys, chimps and other primates) resulted in the creation of many laboratory (i.e. "man-made") infectious agents for research, commercial and biowarfare purposes.
In 1971, Nixon transferred a major part of the Army's Biological Warfare Unit at Ft. Detrick over to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Thereafter, secret biowarfare experimentation continued under the cover of bona-fide cancer research. In November 1973 at a high-level conference entitled "Biohazards in Biological Research," virologists freely admitted there was no foolproof way to prevent the escape of highly dangerous laboratory viruses into the community. Robert W Miller of the NCI warned that "laboratory workers have not only heavy exposures to known viruses, but also to the viruses that they invent."
Utilizing the latest genetic engineering techniques, virologists forced cancer-causing viruses to "jump" from one species of animal to another. In the hazardous transfer of dangerous infectious agents, scientists developed new forms of cancer in animals, as well as AIDS-like immunodeficiency diseases in cats, primates, and other lab animals. In 1981, a decade later, a new and mysterious immunodeficiency disease called AIDS suddenly appeared exclusively in gay men, the most hated minority in America.
AIDS: A designer disease with a genetically-altered laboratory virus?
During the 1970s the NCI's Special Virus Cancer Program brought together leading national and international medical scientists in a unified attempt to uncover cancer-causing viruses. In the process human and animal viruses were adapted for commercial and biowarfare purposes. By the end of the decade new "emerging viruses" began to appear.
Some AIDS researchers believe the "war on cancer" and the concomitant Special Virus Cancer Program with its connections to biowarfare research spawned HIV. The AIDS outbreak in America clearly traces back to the government-sponsored experimental hepatitis B vaccine programs (1978-1981). These experiments in Manhattan , Los Angeles, and San Francisco, utilized highly promiscuous, healthy white gay and bisexual men as guinea pigs. Shortly after this experiment began in Manhattan in 1978, the first cases of "gay-related immune deficiency disease" appeared in New York City.
The danger of unrecognized animal viruses contaminating commercial vaccines has been known for a half-century. The AIDS epidemic was not the first time a monkey virus "jumped species"-via contaminated vaccines-to the human population. The polio vaccine of the 1950s was contaminated with a monkey virus called "simian virus-40" and was injected into half the U.S. population of that era. The details of this horrific event and its aftermath can be found in "The Virus and the Vaccine: The True Story of a Cancer-Causing Monkey Virus, Contaminated Polio Vaccine, and the Millions of Americans Exposed", by Debbie Bookchin and Jim Schumacher.
The idea of AIDS as a man-made virus (and seeded through vaccines) is considered by most scientists to be a joke and is trashed as paranoid "conspiracy theory." However, as already noted, previous biowarfare experiments against civilians have all been clouded in secrecy and covered-up at the highest levels of government. Scientific "facts" surrounding these unethical programs are often tainted with government misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, and outright lies.
Scientists pooh-pooh the idea of a "man-made" virus, even though the laboratory transfer of viruses from one species to another always results in a "man-made virus." When a lab virus is transferred to another species its molecular structure is altered. This occurs because the transferred virus picks up new genetic material from the cell of the new species that it infects.
More than 30 years after AIDS there are still unanswered questions. How is it biologically possible for a supposedly black, heterosexually-transmitted disease "out-of-Africa" to suddenly (with no incubation period) transform itself into a "gay disease" in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco? Why are there no proven AIDS cases in Africa in the 1960s and 70s? Why only young healthy white gay men in the U.S.? Why no blacks, women, old people, immuno-suppressed people, children, heterosexuals, among the first cases? Surely with all the sexual activity of heterosexuals in America, one would expect some early cases to appear in straight people as well.
The evidence pointing to AIDS as a man-made disease can be found in my two books: AIDS and the Doctors of Death, and Queer Blood. One can also google "man-made AIDS" for hundreds of Internet websites in which the subject is discussed rationally and intelligently. One Internet article entitled "W.H.O. murdered Africa", written by William Campbell Douglas, has been posted for two decades. The physician accuses the W.H.O. of deliberately seeding HIV via contaminated African vaccine experiments. Douglas says there is no question mark after the title because the title is not a question: it's a declarative statement. It is interesting to note that there has never been any serious scientific challenge to this research.
After 30 years, man-made AIDS is still a taboo subject for scientists and the media. As proof, witness the demonization of Reverend Jeremiah Wright (Barack Obama's pastor) whose public accusations of man-made AIDS threatened to bring down Obama's bid for the presidential nomination. Not one journalist had the temerity to ask the Reverend why he held such an extreme view, and what was the evidence for it.
Killer Germs for Sale
Further complicating bioterrorism is the sale of deadly microbes to anyone and any country with the cash to buy them. >From 1985-1988, when the U.S. was still friendly with Saddam Hussein, his Education Ministry purchased 70 shipments of anthrax, West Nile virus, and other disease-causing organisms from the American Type Culture Collection, in Maryland. At that time, such shipments were entirely legal and received quick approval by the U.S. Commerce Department. Even after Hussein gassed the Kurds in 1988, and even after the Gulf War, U.S. officials continued to supply Iraq with biochemical and warfare ingredients.
The CDC also sent West Nile virus and numerous other biological agents to Iraq during the years 1984 and 1993. Unknown to the U.S. before 1999, infection with the African West Nile virus is now reported throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. The virus infects mosquitoes, which can transfer the virus to humans, birds, horses, and other animals.
The Riegle Report (May 25, 1994) further documents biological and biochemical shipments from the U.S. to Iraqi government agencies. It was later learned that these microorganisms exported by the U.S. were identical to those the UN inspectors found and recovered from the Iraqi biowarfare program.
The Baxter Flu Virus Vaccine "Accident" in February 2009
Two months before the Mexican flu, a Czech laboratory worker conducting a flu experiment was stunned when all the ferrets died after inoculation with "experimental virus material" composed of human seasonal H3N2 flu viruses. Ferrets are no supposed to die from exposure to human seasonal flu viruses. The lethal biological product was manufactured by Illinois-based Baxter International at its plant in Orth-Donau, Austria and then distributed to labs in Germany, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic.
The fatal lab accident was reported on February 6, 2009, leading to an extensive investigation by health officials. Testing showed the "experimental virus material" was indeed a mix of human H3N2 seasonal flu viruses, but the product was also contaminated with unlabeled live "bird flu" H5N1 viruses. H5N1 is known as the human form of avian flu, one of the most deadly biological weapons on earth with a 60% kill rate. In short, such a product could start a pandemic!
Reporting for the Canadian Press on 27 Feb. 2009, Helen Branswell noted: "People familiar with biosecurity rules are dismayed by evidence that human H3N2 and avian H5N1 viruses somehow co-mingled in the Orth-Donau facility. That is a dangerous practice that should not be allowed to happen, a number of experts insisted. Accidental release of a mixture of live H5N1 and H3N2 viruses could have resulted in dire consequences. While H5N1 doesn't easily infect people, H3N2 viruses do. If someone exposed to a mixture of the two had been simultaneously infected with both strains, he or she could have served as an incubator for a hybrid virus able to transmit easily to and among people. That mixing process, called reassortment, is one of two ways pandemic viruses are created." Fortunately, no lab workers became ill, but all were treated with the ant-viral drug Tamiflu.
Czech news reports questioned whether the events were part of a conspiracy to deliberately provoke a pandemic, following up on accusations already made by health officials in other countries. At first, Baxter stonewalled questions by invoking "trade secrets" and refused to reveal how the vaccines were contaminated with H5N1. After increased pressure they then claimed the preparations were sent by accident.
On March 3 Jutta Brenn-Vogt, a spokesperson for Baxter, admitted that there was no routine testing for viral contamination of biologicals produced for animal use. The implications of this are ominous for pet lovers and veterinarians. Anyone with a household pet knows that veterinary clinics will not treat animals who have not received the required vaccines. Like humans, farm animals also receive various vaccines for health purposes. The fact that animal vaccines are not tested for contamination with other viruses should be widely known. Such animal vaccines could serve as a reservoir for virus reassortment.
Ferrets are now the preferred animal model for testing influenza vaccines before their use on humans. Ferrets can also contract the flu from humans. However, the Baxter lab "accident" indicates that using animals to develop vaccines for humans is a double-edged sword. In the process, animals can also transfer dangerous laboratory viruses back to human beings. Increasing this danger is the fact that domestic ferrets are now common household pets. It is estimated that approximately 800,000 ferrets are pets in the United States.
While the first reports of the Mexican flu appeared in the media, blogger Steve Watson of infonet.com commented on the Baxter lab brouhaha. "Since the probability of mixing a live virus biological weapon with vaccine material by accident is virtually impossible, this leaves no other explanation than that the contamination was a deliberate attempt to weaponize the H5N1 virus to its most potent extreme and distribute it via conventional flu vaccines to the population who would then infect others to a devastating degree as the disease went airborne. The fact that Baxter mixed the deadly H5N1 virus with a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses is the smoking gun. The H5N1 virus on its own has killed hundreds of people, but it is less airborne and more restricted in the ease with which it can spread. However, when combined with seasonal flu viruses, which as everyone knows are super-airborne and easily spread, the effect is a potent, super-airborne, super deadly biological weapon. Indeed, some have already suggested that the current scare could represent the use of such a weapon. Now it has been announced that Baxter is seeking a sample of the potentially lethal never before seen form of swine/avian/human flu virus in order to assist the World Health Organization in developing a new vaccine, reaping billions in the process. Why should Baxter be trusted, when they have already been proven to be at the very least criminally negligent, and at worst a prime suspect in attempting to carry off one of the most heinous crimes in the history of mankind?"
On Aprll 29, it was announced that Baxter International would collaborate with the World Health Organization to develop a vaccine against swine flu. A Baxter spokesman said it could take about 12-16 weeks to provide the first doses once the manufacturing process.
Body snatchers and the 1918 flu virus
Beginning in the mid-1990s various researchers attempted to determine the molecular structure of the 1918 swine flu virus that killed as many as 50 million people worldwide. First, a new technique was devised to analyze DNA from old, stored preserved tissue obtained from U.S. army victims of the Spanish flu. Later, retired San Francisco pathologist and Swedish-born adventurer Johan Hultin went to Alaska to personally dig up the body of an Eskimo buried in the permafrost, in order to obtain further tissue specimens for genetic analysis.
Hultin's fascination with digging for frozen Alaskan victims is chronicled by Jamie Shreeve in an article posted on-line and entitled "Why revive a deadly flu virus?" published by The New York Times on Jan. 29, 2006. The pathologist's first attempt, at age 25 in 1951, to secure infected tissue from a mass gravesite in Brevig, Alaska, was unsuccessful in that he was unable to grow a virus.
Years later in 1997, after hearing about the attempts to uncover the molecular structure of the 1918 swine flu virus, Hultin, then age 72, decided to go back to Alaska to get more tissue. And that (according to Shreeve) is how Johan Hultin returned to Brevig - a tall, gray-bearded figure arriving unannounced, carrying his wife's pruning shears to help him cut through bone. After again obtaining permission, he reopened the mass grave, and on the fourth day of digging found the body of an obese woman whose lungs were well preserved, insulated from the occasional ground thaw by her fat. He returned home with samples of her lungs and other organs and sent them for virologic testing. The entire expedition took five days.
On Oct. 6, 2005, the CDC announced that the genetic reconstruction of the 1918 virus was complete. What was the reason for this intense and macabre decade-long quest? According to the CDC, "The biological properties that confer virulence to pandemic influenza viruses were poorly understood. Research to better understand how the individual genes of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus contribute to the disease process could provide important insights into the basis of virulence. This kind of information will enable us to devise appropriate strategies for early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, should a similar pandemic virus emerge. Additionally, such research will provide us with general principles with which we can better design antiviral drugs and other interventions against all influenza viruses with enhanced virulence."
The details of this research can be found on-line in the Oct. 7, 2005 issue of Science magazine ("Resurrected influenza virus yields secrets of deadly 1918 pandemic"). The article notes "both the author's and Science's editors acknowledge concerns that terrorists could, in theory, use the information to reconstruct the 1918 flu virus."
As late as September 2008 researchers were still digging up old victims of the 1918 pandemic in the hopes of securing more tissue. The body of famous English diplomate Sir Mark Sykes, who died of the flu at age 38, was exhumed from a lead-lined coffin and samples of his lung and brain were submitted for virus testing. During World War One Sykes collaborated in drawing up the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which carved up the Ottoman Empire at the end of the war.
Pig parts for people
In a pandemic flu article appearing in The New York Times on May 5, 2009, ("10 (virus) genes furiously evolving"), Carl Zimmer reports: "Viruses are diverse because they can mutate very fast and can mix genes. They sometimes pick up genes from their hosts, and they can swap genes with other viruses. Some viruses, including flu viruses, carry out a kind of mixing known as reassortment. If two different flu viruses infect the same cell, the new copies of their genes get jumbled up as new viruses are assembled."
So, why do scientists want to use pig tissue for transplantation into humans. Particularly when pig viruses could "swap genes" with human viruses? Could the current "new" swine flu virus", which is a mix of human, pig and bird viruses, have its origin in gene-swapping viral lab experiments and/or vaccine experiments that have been conducted over the past half-century?
Writing about pig parts for TIME (Jan.14, 2002), Michael Lemonick is aware of the danger arising "because animals carry viruses that are harmless to their hosts but can turn deadly in another species. If such a virus hitchhiked aboard transplanted tissue, it could not only infect its new host but also spread to other humans--much as HIV did when it jumped from monkeys to man." Nevertheless, he concludes, "Interspecies transplantation is so promising that researchers are determined to tackle each hurdle as it comes. It could be a decade or more before clinical trials become routine and even longer for transplants. But they seem to be on their way.
The madness of virus research and bioterrorism
How many more wake up calls with bioterrorism and mysterious new epidemics will be required before health officials stop blaming animals for the origin of all these new epidemic diseases. When will be begin to reevaluate the world trade in deadly infectious and biowarfare agents, the insanities of out-of-control vaccine experimentation, and the needless seeding of viruses into countless laboratory animals. Surely these factors are possible reasons for our current and predicted new plagues?
Laboratory infectious creations and biowarfare agents are designed solely to kill. Any government or scientist or terrorist that is willing to employ and deploy these agents should be fully aware that - What Goes Around, Comes Around.
*** Dr. Cantwell is the author of two books on the man-made AIDS epidemic: AIDS and the Doctors of Death and Queer Blood, both available from www.amazon.com and Book Clearing House @ 1-800-431-1579. Email:
From Internet Bio (partial) of Adrian Gibbs
Committee and editorial work
Co-editor of 'Journal of General Virology` (plant viruses), 1969-71; /of 'Intervirology` (plant viruses), 1973-85;
/of 'Australasian Plant Pathology` (plant viruses), 1978-81; /of 'C.M.I./A.A.B
1970-72; /of "Portraits of Viruses: A Review Series", Intervirology, 1979-88;
International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, Exec. Comm. member, 19
1991-3 (Life Member 1996); Chairman of the Data Subcommittee, 19
Programme Committee, Section on Virology of the IUMS, 1971-2001
ntific Advisory Board of 'Plant Pathology`, 1981- 2000; /of founding Editorial Board of 'Virus Research`, 1
87; /of Editorial Advisory Board of 'Archives of Virology`, 1985-2002; /of Editorial Advisory Board of the
'Review of Plant Pathology`, 1987-96; /of Advisory Board of 'Indian Phytopathology`, 1988-96; /of Editorial
Advisory Board of the 'Encyclopaedia of Virology`, 1990-93; /of the founding Editorial Board of 'Molecular
Phylogenetics and Evo
Culture Committee of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, 1987-90
Board of the Australian Genomic Information Centre, University of Sydney, 1991-9
Crop Protection Programme Advisory Board of C.A.B. International, 1996-2000;
First published in the July 2009 issue of NEW DAWN magazine, Melbourne, Australia
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