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Was Foot and Mouth caused by biological weaponry?

Accidental death or murdered meat?

Just when we think it’s a no news day, we found this absolute gem of a conspiracy theory in an interview on New Scientist.com.
If anyone else had suggested it we’d have laughed and told them to stop watching the X-files, but when the bloke being interviewed is Kanatjan Alibekov, defected second-in-command of the secret (but massive) Soviet ‘Biopreparat’ biological weapons programme, then your ears prick up.

He’s now a key ‘biodefence’ researcher in the US with some dire warnings for the complacent, missile obsessed west. The whole piece makes fascinating (if frightening) reading, but interviewer Rachel Nowak gets straight to the point about an outbreak very close to our hearts.

Here are some key qoutes about the F+M outbreak from Kanatjan:

“I’m not saying that foot and mouth disease is [the result of a biological attack] because I don’t know. But if you see something this size in the 21st century, it is getting very suspicious. To imagine that we have had nothing for the past few decades and then suddenly such a huge, uncontrollable epidemic of foot and mouth disease–it raises many questions.”

“I’m 100 per cent sure that all intelligence and counterintelligence services are going to be working on this epidemic…… But don’t expect anything, even any information about the existence of an investigation.”

He doesn’t shed any light on why somebody would have a terrorist vendetta against livestock, but it would probably make a good ‘test model’ for similarly transmitted diseases such as Anthrax. It is also worth noting that anthrax is an old favourite ingredient in the biological weaponry cocktail shaker.

Or it could genuinely just be from dodgy takeaway pig swill, but that wouldn’t cause much of a conversation down the pub now would it!


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