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Expert and Independent Advice - History repeating itself

" Roy Anderson should be called, not the Professor of Epidemiology, but the Professor of Extermination at Imperial College, London. I understand that he subsequently revised his model and came to the conclusion that the virus travelled no more than 500 metres. Too many animals ... were killed in the name of elections and mathematics. .." Roger Windsor in a speech read to the Central Veterinary Society in 2001

Feb 3 2003 ~ FWi "A NEW BODY has been established to give expert and independent advice

  • "SEAC has, on its panel of twelve members, Professor Roy Anderson, chief architect of the "cull by computer" FMD policy. The body it advises, the Food Standards Agency, is chaired by Anderson's friend Sir John Krebs..."

  • The close association of key players in the scientific group that advise the government has been of interest

    Files about the connections between key players in the Foot and Mouth crisis:
    Extract: "... The Ferguson, Donnelly, Anderson (Imperial College Modelling team headed by Anderson) paper - their "deeply flawed" model that resulted in the 12/48 cull policies - is entitled "The foot-and-mouth epidemic in Great Britain: pattern of spread and impact of interventions."
    It has led to the premature deaths of up to 11 million animals -a large proportion of whom were healthy - and misery in Devon, Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway, North Yorkshire - and who know how many future areas?..."

  • "..the freemasonry of the Royal Society"

    was described by an anonymous contributer to warmwell as an unholy alliance and certainly the names do keep reoccurring whenever one hears of "scientific advice"

  • From Private Eye May 18th 2001

    All science, law and truth have been chucked out of the window.

    Nov 11 2001 ~ Because of MAFF action, animals were kept in conditions, for which, under normal circumstances, the farmer would have been prosecuted....

    Roger Windsor (MBE. MA (Cantab), BSc (Edin) BVM&S, MRCVS) in a speech, read on his behalf, to the Central Veterinary Society "..MAFF decided to follow EU advice and stuck to 3 km which more than doubled the number of animals that were killed... Roy Anderson should be called, not the Professor of Epidemiology, but the Professor of Extermination at Imperial College, London. I understand that he subsequently revised his model and came to the conclusion that the virus travelled no more than 500 metres. Too many animals ... were killed in the name of elections and mathematics. .." See Speech

  • Jan 25 ~ .... "dangerous contacts" from Welshpool Market, where 40 local farmers refused to let their animals be killed because they did not believe them to have been exposed to the disease, not one later proved positive."

    The MEP, Dr Caroline Lucas' introduction to the report (below) Stopping the Great Food Swap: Relocalising Europe's Food Supply makes some interesting comments about the questions that (still) need to be addressed about the UK handling of FMD. Extract:
    "Why, for example, did the government hand over control of the epidemic in March 2001 to the computer team led by Professor Roy Anderson of Imperial College, an epidemiologist who had no expertise in the management or control of foot and mouth?
    Why did the government allow its response to the disease to be driven by a computer model that was so fundamentally flawed? Based on poor and incomplete data, not only did it hugely over-estimate the extent of windborne spread of the disease, it also failed to incorporate the different susceptibilities to infection of different animal species. .....

  • May 18 2002~ Britain's most expensive myth Sunday Telegraph Booker's Notebook "...The chief reason for doubting a link between beef and CJD lay in the epidemiological evidence, which even in 1996 suggested that the promised epidemic was a fantasy. Over the past seven years, as the incidence curve has begun a steady fall, that has seemed ever more certain. Now, after reviewing the evidence, Professor Roy Anderson and his Imperial College team have published a revised estimate of the total number of victims likely to die of vCJD in the future (link available through Their figure? Not 400,000, or 40,000, just 40....."

  • Oct 2 2002~ "Dreadful mess and suffering"
  • The long-awaited Draft report of the EU Temporary Committee on FMD should have been reported fully on the front pages of all serious British newspapers and a copy given to all members of Parliament. Ken Tyrell, the veteran veterinary surgeon involved at a senior level in both the 1967 and 2001 crises, whose clear and humane criticisms of the UK policy were published on this website, comments, "..the EU has pronounced so forcibly about the dreadful mess and suffering that MAFF and subsequently DEFRA made in their shambles (using the word in the old meaning of lots of blood) ...."
    The detail of the report speaks volumes. In vain did leading proponents of the mass slaughter policy; Roy Anderson, David King, Lord Whitty (who, according to Sean Poulter yesterday "visited the Committee Chairman") and Margaret Beckett, try to carry out a damage limitation exercise, attempting to smooth over the cruelty and the flawed science. The Committee merely heard them out with polite incredulity. They - unlike these politicians and "scientists", had taken the trouble to listen to those involved, listened and been moved to tears by them.

  • Oct 9 2002 ~ "more of the same - or worse" ..The refusal of the UK Government to change future policy in its desperation to cover up past mistakes

    "We have sensed for a long time now that the UK government will refuse to change future policy in its desperation to cover up past mistakes. In confirmation of this, Professor David King stated on camera during our recent interview that a future outbreak will be met with slaughter and contiguous culling at the least, while he hinted strongly that more draconian pre-emptive slaughter to 1.5 km radius or more would be seriously considered. In other words, more of the same - or worse. He flatly refused to recommend the use of vaccination until a series of further scientific and political hurdles had been overcome. His reputation, perhaps his job, is at stake and he will not risk backing down from the rigid line that was his all along; the politicians, even the PM, have simply danced to his tune. He has stuck his neck out for Roy Anderson, John Krebs and others within the Royal Society inner circle, and he is not going to yield an inch until forced to do so by higher authority. That authority can only be a Directive from the EU - hence our considerable efforts to influence the outcome of the Committee of Inquiry." Alan Beat in his newsletter from

  • July 23 2003~ Spiralling debts and plummeting membership has forced the NFU to close their London HQ and sell off property (including Ben Gill's presidential style flat in Covent Garden.) " The last straw (for British farming) came during the 2001 foot and mouth disaster. As the obscurantist alliance against vaccination led by Gill and Professor Roy Anderson brought the livestock industry to its knees, the NFU played a central part in creating the most pointlessly destructive crisis British farming has ever faced" Muckspreader's Down on the Farm column, Private Eye.
  • May 1 2003 ~ "Following the outbreak of SARS, one thing was certain: Professor Roy Anderson of Imperial College would soon be hitting the headlines"

    Private EyeExtract: "And so it came to pass. While the World Health Organisation was being severely criticised by the Canadian government and others for "overreacting", it found welcome backing last weekend from a report by Anderson which claimed that Sars was twice as deadly as previously thought. "We have not seen the report so we could not comment," a WHO spokesman said, "except to say that this is a top-class professional and any figure he commits himself to is likely to be as close as possible to accurate." ....
    ... Two years ago it was Roy Anderson who created the computer model used by the government to claim that the number of FMD cases would fall to zero by 7 June 2001. ... .
    Back in 1987 Anderson's mathematical talents again proved useful to a politician's election prospects. He was invited by Norway's Prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland to help produce an "independent assessment" of how many minke whales Norwegians could sustainably kill each year. The International Whaling Commission had introduced a moratorium on commercial minke whaling, which Brundtland feared would lose her support in the northern whaling constituencies. She hoped that a report by a four-man committee of experts, including Anderson, would persuade the IWC to ease the ban. Lo and behold, the committee came up with exactly the same figure - 200 whales - which the whalers thought they needed to make a profit. But then a mathematical biologist on the IWC's scientific committee went through the algebra and found "fundamental flaws in the methodology": Anderson and his chums had achieved the result Brundtland wanted only by creating unreal (indeed "impossible" ) parameters. The report was duly rubbished by the experts, just as Anderson's foot-and-mouth model was two years ago. But politicians continue to admire him, including of course the former Norwegian PM. And where is Gro Harlem Brundtland now? By happy coincidence, she is director-general of the World Health Organisation."